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Editorial: Rowan’s own ‘Sea of Blue’

It’s time for Salisbury-Rowan to show law enforcement officers how much we value them.

Two New York officers died earlier this month, assassinated by a disturbed man who wanted to make headlines. While police officers from all over the country traveled to New York Saturday for Officer Rafael Ramos’ funeral — including two from Landis — people in Cleveland, Ohio, staged a  “Sea of Blue” rally that drew thousands.

The tremendous turnouts at the funeral and the rally come at a time when police might be having second thoughts about their careers.

Recent incidents in which officers  killed unarmed black suspects sent unrest and demonstrations rippling across the land. That, in turn, has led some officers to feel disenfranchised, according to Detective Roger Hosey, one of the Landis officers who went to New York. (Jet Blue offered two free tickets per department.) “It feels as though media attention is on negative law enforcement,” Hosey told reporter Shavonne Walker. That’s why he wanted to be part of Saturday’s funeral for Ramos. “I thought it was a good gesture for our guys,” Hosey said.

“Our guys,” be they city police or county deputies, near or far, play a priceless role in keeping our communities safe. In addition to putting their lives on the line every day as they fight crime and enforce the law, they lend their time to volunteer activities — collecting toys for Toys for Tots, fixing up bicycles to give children at Christmas, and so on.

The Salisbury-Rowan community holds a peace officers’ memorial each year, but that’s hardly enough to show our appreciation to those on the force now. Maybe what’s needed is a “sea of green” — money for updated equipment, raises and other departmental needs. Police Chief Rory Collins and Sheriff Kevin Auten both say body cameras would help tremendously. “You can’t put a price on life and justice,” Auten says.

Stuff happens. And most people are smart enough to know that questionable actions by some officers do not represent the tendencies of all. Without law enforcement, our communities would be in complete chaos. With law enforcement, we can have peace and order.  Let officers know you appreciate what they do.

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