Police deserve more respect

Published 12:08 am Saturday, April 25, 2009

I am outraged at the total lack of respect for what our law enforcement (not just because one of them is my husband either) has to go through and put up with. This is the first time I have responded to what appears to be a total lack of knowledge for the job of law enforcement.

Just after 9 p.m. last night, 911 received a call from a female screaming for help. As police officers responded a driver broke the law by failing to yield to blue lights and sirens. Alabama law states ALL drivers must move quickly to your right far lane and stop! It doesn’t say if you want to, it says you MUST.

A citizen of Selma broke Alabama law by yielding to her left in the direct path of a patrol car who by all witness accounts had his blue lights and sirens working at this time.

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This person’s igonorance of the law cost the city of Selma a fine police officer, a patrol car, loss of power to the city. It has come to my attention that 50 percent of the calls are bogus. I need my husband to come home each morning (he works the night shift, the worst of the worst).

Officer Gibson’s wife did not get her husband back home safely last night. It is my husband’s opinion that being a police officer is not a job, it’s a calling. He doesn’t see black, white, old, young. He sees human beings.

He doesn’t think that everyone who breaks the law is a criminal. Please people get a clue. You don’t mind them rushing to your house when you’re in need, do you? What if that lady on Water Avenue who received CPR from a police officer several weeks ago had a police officer who drove 25 mph instead of trying to get there in time to save her life?

Officers I know that weren’t on the payroll came out last night from other agencies and assisted in helping answer calls so Selma PD could tend to one of their own. I would like to personally thank Det. Janet Cole and the rest of the Dallas County Sheriff’s officers who came out on their own time, some of which stayed with my husband until 3:30 a.m. Off-duty Selma PD personel, including officers, detectives who were not on duty responding and stayed until they knew there BROTHER officer was in good hands. Several day-shift patrol officers showed up and rendered assistance in directing traffic, crowd control. They did this without pay!

It is my opinion that you should appreciate the fine officers that Dallas County and the city of Selma have to offer you. Sometimes we forget what we have until we lose it. No one is perfect, but you seem to want to get on this soap box every time a police officer is in the spot light. The average call lasts 30 minutes. Each officer will answer 15-to-30 calls per night, but when it’s you that calls, the first thing you say is what took you so long to get here. My husband has been accused of stopping at “the donut shop” on the way to a call.

Instead of constantly downgrading the police department the public should get behind the police department. And they sure as heck don’t get paid enough to do what they do and then get put down for doing their jobs. I just want people to think the next time they have to pick up the phone for help is that officer gonna make it there in time and safely to help them in their time of need. My husband is having a really hard time with this. The law enforcement personnel are one big family. When one goes down it effects all of them. People complain and moan and get smart with them when they get a ticket but if he let that person get away with it then went on up the road and killed your mother, father, brother, sister or so on, you blame the officer once again. They are damned if they do and damned if they dont. How about thanking these guys sometimes instead of being mean. A hand wave anything means alot to them. They are out there for you, not themselves. And us wives have to sit at home and worry and wonder if they are coming home to us or not. Thank you for letting me share this.

Gayla Terry