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Column: Those who are anti-police may still need their help someday
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

There are people who, for one reason or another, hate law enforcement. They might not admit this if you ask them, but if someone was breaking into their home, trying to steal their car,or causing criminal harm against them, they will call 911. Trust me, they would expect someone to answer and dispatch an officer to help.

But there is still that hatred of public safety personnel that is prominent among some people.

Earlier this week, a man shot a gun at a trooper of the Georgia State Patrol. Another officer fired back and killed the offender.

How crazy do you have to be to engage in a skirmish with a law enforcement officer? This officer was doing his job. An effort was being made to eliminate trespassers from the land where the city of Atlanta is planning to build a training center for new officers. The site of a piece of property where there has been a county prison before. I think I’d take a new training center over a dilapidated prison site.

I have been to the old training center. It is in a former school building and needed replacing.

I don’t care what your line of work might be, there are bad apples in every field of employment. There are people who work in retail, food service or some type of repair business that give others a bad reputation.

However, I am delighted when somebody provides excellent service. Sometimes I want to jump up and down and cheer.

I know a lot of good law enforcement professionals. They are hardworking, dedicated people. Many of them disregard the clock because of a desire to continue an investigation. 

Our state patrol is dedicated to responding to help other agencies. The officer and his colleagues that were working this week in Atlanta were helping the city of Atlanta. 

A few years ago, when there seemed to be a nightly march with vandalism downtown, the state patrol responded. They formed a line to keep marchers from going onto the downtown connector.

I knew some troopers that had things thrown at them and were even spat upon. I remember seeing a TV image of some knucklehead leaning back and spitting on the officer. The officer stood stoic and did not respond in any like fashion. 

I think I would have wanted to give the offender an old-fashioned kick in the backside. But the officer responded correctly and did his job to protect the highway.

We are blessed with those who answer the call to public service. 

Recently, an off-duty officer responded when a mother knocked on his door and had a baby that was not breathing. I guess he could have turned around, closed the door and watched TV. But his dedication made the officer respond to the emergency. He used several back blows and soon the infant was breathing again.

I’d like to think that even a cop-hater would be grateful for that response.

These people who want to express their disdain for law enforcement officers may find themselves in an urgent need one day. I’m glad that when they call for help, they won’t get a busy signal.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns publish weekly.