Angelina Rivera, Grade 7

Police officers have challenging jobs and are often not truly respected. A police sergeant recently shared her experiences with this reporter. She related several incidents that occurred when she was on duty. In one instance, a group of teenagers loitered at a Dunkin Donuts, causing problems for the business owner. When the police arrived on the scene, they were met with rude and disrespectful comments from the group. Another time, a woman was involved in a  dispute. When the police responded and intervened, the woman threw her phone at them. She was arrested for assault.  

People need to understand the procedures that the police have to follow. People often get upset if the police do not respond immediately and react rudely when they arrive at a scene. Other times citizens react badly when they think that reports are not filed immediately. Sometimes calls are made to 911 that are not emergencies. For example, the officer interviewed related an incident when a landlord called 911 because he wanted to evict a tenant. This was a legal, not a crime issue. This call took the 911  operator away from a call concerning a crime. When 911 calls are made about noise complaints, this also takes police away from serious crime situations. In one instance, when the police responded to a noise complaint about a  DJ playing loud music at a house party, the DJ and guests refused the officers’ requests to stop the music, and a fight occurred, resulting in arrests.  

Being a police officer is a challenging and stressful job. Police officers are well-trained to help others in times of stress and need. Very often, people need to consider the needs of police officers. They do not believe those police officers are regular people under pressure. Being aware of this and being kind and respectful to police officers helps them do their jobs as essential workers who dedicate their lives to protecting others. This will let police officers know that the work they do is valued and that they are respected.