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Law enforcement agencies deserve our thanks

Published 6:00am Saturday, April 7, 2012

This has been a busier than normal week for me with the coverage of the murder trial and the coverage of the drug raid that took place Monday and that has continued throughout this week.

But as worn out as I’ve been, I know the many law enforcement officers in this county and with other agencies that assisted with the raid are infinitely more worn out than I am.

These men and women (and canines) started the raid in what I would consider the middle of the night.

Gathering for a briefing at 2:30 a.m. and setting out to make arrests by 3:30 a.m. takes some serious dedication.

And most of them didn’t arrest a few people and call it a day (or night – whichever way you see it). They kept going, some of them until 5 p.m. or later the next day.

Even though it was a grueling process, their hard work wasn’t in vain. During the past week, over 170 drug-related arrests have been made, which made Operation Spring Clean (don’t you just love the name?) the biggest drug raid in county history.

I’d say that’s definitely something to be proud of and commended for.

But even though it seems like these law enforcement officers should be receiving nothing but praises, something like a huge drug raid can go one of two ways:

1) People in the community are extremely grateful for the job well-done and for the dedication to attempt to get the drug problem in the county under control, or 2) People think it’s a waste of time because the drug problem will never be solved and these law enforcement officers could be doing something else with their time.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but just in case you were wondering, I fall into the first group of people.

I know it seems as though the drug problem in our county or country will never completely go away, but that doesn’t mean it can be completely ignored.

People won’t ever stop murdering one another either but we can’t just start condoning random shootings and stabbings because there’s no way to really stop it.

Maybe it would be easier and would save more money if drugs were legalized and the court system wasn’t clogged with distribution and possession cases, but at what expense would it come?

There are some people who would do anything for their drug of choice and intervention after intervention would do little to stop it.

There are also stories of those who have been busted for their addictions, received help as part of the punishment process, and were able to recover and lead productive lives.

Even though it was probably a big hassle at the time, I guarantee you those people are glad that there were laws in place that got them straightened out.

I imagine that being a police officer can be a pretty thankless job most of the time. No matter if you make one person happy, you’ve probably made four more mad in the process.

What these men and women have done this week is something they should be congratulated for because, even if you’re someone who believes the criminalization of drug use is a waste of time, it is in fact still illegal.

These people have worked very hard to do their job and do what they believe is best for the community in which many of them reside.

That protection in itself deserves a pat of the back and I hope you’ll remember that if you see a law enforcement official in the weeks to come.

 

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