Bigger and better hearts

Published 7:17 pm Saturday, December 20, 2014

With all the recent talk about bad cops in the wake of various deaths across the nation at the hands of police officers, it’s good once in a while to take a step back and gain a little perspective on the matter.

Without addressing the handful of specific recent situations that have resulted in riots, protests and various acts of civil disobedience in cities around the country, it is important to note that the vast majority of police officers do their jobs with respect and compassion and without anger or discrimination.

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies in Suffolk have demonstrated the respect and compassion that drives their service in a variety of different events this month that were aimed at spreading Christmas cheer and goodwill.

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Both the police and sheriff’s departments held recent toy collection drives, stuffing police cruisers with toys for area children. Those collected by the police officers went to the Toys for Tots program in Suffolk, and those collected by the deputies went to Elephant’s Fork Elementary School, where the sheriff’s department cooperates as a partner in education.

On Friday, members of the Suffolk Police Department went shopping with 15 less fortunate children from Suffolk. Each of the children was given a $100 budget to use for buying Christmas gifts for themselves and their family members. It’s an annual effort by the department and one that its members look forward to participating in each year.

Whatever might be the truth about the specific incidents that have received national attention recently, it is dangerous and unfair to paint all police officers as evil people out to settle racial vendettas.

With their efforts to help children in the city, Suffolk’s finest continue to prove that their hearts are bigger and better than the caricature of law enforcement officers that has begun to gain traction in the other parts of the country.