I am writing in regard to the newspapers recent series about police use of deadly force. I believe several issues are intertwined, with mental health taking the forefront.

The resources allotted to those with mental health issues have dwindled over the past years, and we absolutely see this lack of resources manifesting in other ways such as violence.

I felt the articles were attacking police officers for using deadly force. Don’t those officers have the right to go home safely to their families? What about the many officers who have not gotten that opportunity, dying in the line of duty?

I am not saying that police should just shoot first and try other de-escalation methods later, but I am saying that the police are here to protect us and it is difficult for us to judge the manner in which they provide that protection. We are not there in that moment.

Their training is extensive, but what training can prepare someone for the decisions police officers must make with people who are under the influence of drugs or mentally ill or a combination of both? These split-second decisions mean that either that officer goes home to his or her family or that the officer and perhaps bystanders suffer injuries or death.

While I think examining any police shooting is appropriate, I also stand behind the selfless men and women who give up their holidays, weekends, nights, and sometimes their peace of mind to keep their communities safe.

Theresa Howard


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