In Office Since January 2010


Demonstrators across the country are blaming police officers for the deaths of young men who violently resisted arrest, some thereby putting in jeopardy the lives of the arresting police officers. Demonstrators in the 1960s originated these tactics and have been successfully using them for the past 50 years.

Time to grow up! Put on your big boy pants and take responsibility for your actions. Argue your arrest in the courtroom with the judge, not on the street with the arresting officer. Place the blame where it belongs – on the criminal.

The demonstrators conveniently ignore the criminal behavior that prompted the arrest confrontation, and the pattern of criminal behavior that preceded the day of reckoning. Solutions they propose generally (1) ascribe fault to the police for the way they handle violent law breakers, and (2) excuse criminal behavior. In essence, they propose not to enforce the laws against violent law breakers. No society can long survive using such an approach.
If you need an example, go to any core urban area where police have a limited presence. Legitimate businesses are few in such areas. Criminal activity dominates the economy and intimidates residents. Those who have a way out generally take it at their earliest opportunity. The police are the first line of defense for residents of such areas.

The police, in fact, are a thin blue line between law abiding citizens and the barbarians at the gate. Self preservation suggests that gratitude should be the guiding principle of relations between law abiding citizens and those who make up the thin blue line. Unreasonable criticism, such as that being made by many of the demonstrators and their supporters in the media, as well as a variety of unprincipled, personally ambitious politicians and race hustlers has a detrimental effect on police morale, recruitment and retention. As a result, it will be more difficult to recruit, train, and retain the types of police officers we need and the demonstrators and their fellow travelers say they want.

As we enter the Christmas Season therefore, I would like our police everywhere to know how most Americans feel about you. We appreciate your sacrifices, the hardships and dangers you face, your persistent efforts to do the job right, your emphasis on serving and protecting, and your willingness to confront evil.

May God bless you and keep you from harm as you work to ensure our safety. Know that you are appreciated by a grateful community, and don’t be surprised during the holiday season by expressions of gratitude from an admiring public. You earned it! Thank you!

Dave Shoemaker
City of Washougal, Washington