Opportunity is knocking

Published 6:05 pm Friday, October 23, 2020

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The Suffolk Police Department welcomed 15 new officers to its ranks during a badge pinning ceremony Oct. 21 in the City Council Chamber at City Hall.

In these times of civil unrest, a global pandemic and financial challenges, these 15 individuals chose to take an oath of office to serve and protect our community.

In the best of times being a police officer has never been an easy, safe job. One can assume that, for the most part, those that do choose to put their life on the line do so because they want to make a difference in their community, they want to help people. We commend these officers.

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However, there has been a history in this country where a few who wear the badge have abused their power, taken liberties they should not have and in doing so have left a swath of damage that will take years of work to repair.
A daunting task, but one it appears this administration is ready to take head on.

During the pinning ceremony, Interim Police Chief Al Chandler said he appreciated the new officers answering the call to serve, but said they must do so with integrity. It is among the things they need to remember, he said, while they serve as officers. He went on to say, “The very things that seem to be problems are going to be looked at in history as the time that we got it right.”

“Our citizens have to believe that what you say is truth,” Chandler said, “because they know who we are. There is no room for error, there is no room for anything short of 100% honesty.”

Opportunity is knocking for this administration, current officers, new officers and each of us to be a part of rebuilding that trust. Now is the time to get it right.