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August 14, 2014

Focus on the Facts, Please

Harry M. Covert

Imagine for a moment if sheriff’s deputies, police officers, state police and fire officials were removed from the streets for a day or so in Frederick. Visualize the pandemonium, danger on the streets and highways, the illegal guns that would surface, home invasions and carjackings.


There are lots of people who dare make light and criticize the city and county officers for simply doing their sworn duty. On their own and in general, people don’t do right. They do try to skirt the law in the simplest of ways, speeding on the streets and roadways and then become downright nasty if stopped and ticketed.


Excuses are absolutely creative, such as “late for work”, late for church, late, late late to pick up the children or the Keys’ game, ad infinitum.


I’m sympathetic to people just trying to make a living. I’m not sympathetic to people who don’t show courtesy and respect for authority figures.


Imagine, too, if local deputies and police had to bring out tear gas to stop dangerous civil unrests. It’s not always a racial matter, no matter what the professional racists say.


National attention is focused on a police shooting in a Missouri town. Don’t think for a moment this couldn’t occur locally. Fortunately most people are taught good manners and courtesy by parents. Citizens don’t have the right to hide behind misconduct in any form, whether rich or poor, Caucasian or black or Irish or Italian, Liberians, or other classifications.


Everyone has to learn how to conduct themselves walking down the street, how to face confrontations. Stories abound how DWB and WWB are prevalent among some police agencies. Oh, excuse me, DWB means driving while black, and WWB is walking while black. Not in the same grouping as DUI, driving under the influence by drink or drugs.


Let’s face it. No one wants to talk about the problems facing society; but every time someone is challenged by police, it isn’t racist.


When the Missouri altercation erupted, reports were the victim had stuck his arm in the police vehicle attempting to wrest the policeman’s gun. I thought could this happen in Frederick? Yes, indeed.


I recall vividly an incident years ago. A woman driver was stopped at major thoroughfare traffic light. Windows were down. Instantly a guy reached into the driver’s side and grabbed her by the throat. What the fellow didn’t know was she was the police chief’s wife. Without fear she grabbed a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber chief’s special and, kaboom. Problem over.


There was no civil unrest over the above. It sure did curtail similar actions. A good reason that Maryland should allow concealed weapons or open carry laws.


Sure, it’s sad when disruptive people pay the price. But it’s not time for untrained, undisciplined and uncaring citizens to run the show.


In some quarters the sheriff’s office or police or state “polizei” aren’t supposed to enforce law. Some decriers want to ignore various sections of the federal, state and local codes. Pooh on the detractors.


Have locals forgotten the home invasions of the past few months? Have they forgotten the shootings near the town center, how about the daring downtown daylight jewelry store robbery? Merely because we don’t hear of all the criminal activity in the friendly confines is no reason to want a downgrade of policing.


Being in law enforcement is not teaching a Sunday School class for the young or old. Police carry Glocks for a reason. Sometimes bullets are aimed at them. It’s not a rarity.


Some 33 years ago, a press secretary was shot and maimed for life. Jim Brady died August 4th and the coroner termed his death a homicide. Why not? His shooter could well be charged with murder. Why not?


Why are citizens safe in Frederick? It’s no secret. The sheriff, police chief, state police are on the job – 24/7.


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