If our elected officials are intimidated by uniformed police officers, I can’t help but wonder why. Law abiding citizens have no reason to be intimidated or to fear police officers. I always feel safe when a law enforcement officer is near. We, not the police, set the tone of our interactions with law enforcement.

I’ve been polite, respectful, and grateful for their assistance when I’ve interacted with the police. They have been polite, respectful, and helpful to me. If I physically or verbally assaulted an officer, things would go differently as they should.

The Fargo officers pictured at the meeting appear to be respectful. I think it’s great that officers showed up in uniform to the meeting. It was a visual reminder for council members that police officers risk their safety to protect the rest of us. I find nothing more comforting than an officer showing up in response to a 911 call.

The uniform and badge are a powerful symbol of what they do for the rest of us. Officers in the picture are wearing bullet proof vests, but I don’t see any body armor. Most of us can’t imagine going to work wearing a bullet proof vest and police officers are reminded of the risk to their safety every time they put on their vest.

They are cursed at, spit on, assaulted, and disrespected by too many. Some are quick to criticize law enforcement. Every action they take is scrutinized and analyzed by armchair quarterbacks. As a society, we give them a badge and in return they risk it all to protect society. I couldn’t do the job that police officers do, so I’m not going to tell them how to do their job. Others see them as overpaid and under-worked government employees who have too many benefits. What is fair compensation for someone who risks it all to protect others. I think it’s more than they are paid.

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I think it’s great that officers showed up in uniform at the meeting. It was a visual reminder for council members that police officers risk their safety to protect the rest of us. Under North Dakota law, an officer is never really off duty as they are legally obligated to respond, if necessary, wherever they are in the state.

The uniformed officers remind us that they are always protecting us. It reminds us of their humanity and that they are not a necessary evil as some call them. They are necessary because of evil and work diligently to keep evil at bay. I love our Fargo police and want our officers fairly compensated.

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Colleen Whalen

Fargo