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Opinion: A thank-you from Charlotte County’s sheriff

Sheriff Bill Prummell

Sher­iff Bill Prummell

By Sher­iff Bill Prummell

Char­lotte County Sheriff’s Office

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. – I take this oppor­tu­nity to say thank you on behalf of all the mem­bers of the Char­lotte County Sheriff’s Office.   Recent tragic events have rocked our country.

Our com­mu­nity has shown its over­whelm­ing sup­port for the Sheriff’s Office.  Sim­ple acts of kind­ness through flow­ers and good­ies and most espe­cially your tak­ing the time to walk up to one of our Sheriff’s Office per­son­nel just to say thank you. All are greatly appre­ci­ated.  And to the gen­tle­men who tried to buy me lunch, the ges­ture was a reward in itself.

Law enforce­ment offi­cers are human. There­fore, by def­i­n­i­tion not per­fect. How­ever, the large major­ity of law enforce­ment offi­cers around the nation have cho­sen their pro­fes­sion for all the right reasons.

To give back, make our com­mu­ni­ties a bet­ter place and pro­vide for the safety and secu­rity of the cit­i­zens they have sworn to serve and pro­tect. Today police offi­cers are bet­ter equipped and trained than ever before. How­ever, noth­ing removes the always vari­able human fac­tors in cit­i­zen con­tact with a police offi­cer. Even with that human fac­tor and highly charged emo­tional cir­cum­stances, there are hun­dreds of thou­sands, if not mil­lions of law enforcement/citizen con­tacts that occur each and every day that we do not hear about. That is because every­thing went right. What is pub­li­cized over and over and over again in the relent­less 24-hour news cycle are those very nom­i­nal num­ber of inci­dents where things are per­ceived as wrong or in fact trag­i­cally went wrong.

Dal­las Police Chief David Brown had stated too much of our country’s social ills are being put upon law enforcement’s shoul­ders. I agree. Today law enforce­ment is expected to not only enforce the laws, but to be a mar­riage coun­selor, a social worker, a par­ent, ref­eree, a psy­chol­o­gist and psy­chi­a­trist, among other things. Until there are changes, your Char­lotte County Sher­iff Office is address­ing all this 24÷7÷365.

Our most impor­tant role is as lead­ers of our com­mu­nity address­ing each cit­i­zen encounter with pro­fes­sional effort to make the inter­ac­tion one that every­one can be proud of. When we are called upon we are looked to for help and answers. It doesn’t mat­ter if the offi­cer is a 21-year-old rookie or the Sher­iff; each offi­cer is expected to know how to bring it to a suc­cess­ful, unevent­ful con­clu­sion. Each offi­cer does his or her best to do just that, some­times in the most dif­fi­cult of cir­cum­stances. Every offi­cer sees it as a fail­ure if the cit­i­zen asks the ques­tion “Who is pro­tect­ing us from the police?”

Our coun­try is a very diverse nation with a com­plex soci­ety whose fab­ric of races, reli­gions, and polit­i­cal beliefs that we all must respect. Our rights are estab­lished by our fore­fa­thers in our Con­sti­tu­tion. Law enforce­ment is charged with enforc­ing the laws that flow from that Con­sti­tu­tion. That often does not make police offi­cers pop­u­lar. What we should all agree upon as cit­i­zens of this great Nation, is the enforce­ment of the law through mutual respect is what sep­a­rates order and chaos.

Char­lotte County Sheriff’s offi­cers endeavor to main­tain the open dia­logue and part­ner­ships with every cit­i­zen. Your recent show of sup­port demon­strates we are mov­ing in the right direc­tion. Again, on behalf of the all the mem­bers of the Char­lotte County Sheriff’s Office, Thank You and God Bless you and this great nation.

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