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Police are under heavy stress

July 28, 2016
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

In the wake of recent shootings of police, I want to say that lives do matter. Color, creed, age or sex has no bearing; all lives matter, even "blue" lives.

Police are taught to be leery in encounters. Now that the police have become targets for deranged individuals, we are forced to be even more cautious. If you have an encounter with a police officer, remain calm, do as asked, and tell the officer what you are doing.

We are people, too; we have wives, husbands, children, even grandchildren who wait for our return every day. We do what we do out of a desire to make our neighborhoods better and safer.

We are not infallible; even police make mistakes. Do not judge us all for the actions of a few bad officers or the bad act of a good officer who reacts too quickly or who suffers from years of accumulated stress. That officer has seen victims of abuse, rape, violence, has consoled the survivors of accidents, has watched the life drain out of victims and then puts on the uniform to do it again tomorrow. Our decisions sometimes have to be made in a fraction of a second and then are judged in hindsight for what we should have known or done.

We are blessed to live in an area where most officers know the public they serve and most of the public know a lot of the officers as well. Our children go to school with yours; we shop in the same stores, eat in the same restaurants, watch the same movies and attend the same churches.

Please do not take offense if we treat you differently when on duty; it is what we have to do in today's turbulent society to see our family and friends at the end of the day.

Richard Cutting

Essex County sheriff




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