The vast number of people who are demanding the defunding or decimation of police budgets have little or no appreciation of what the police actually do in and for our society. I would like to submit just one scenario:
As a young Portland Police sergeant, I was dispatched to an apartment on Clark Street in Portland’s West End.

A distraught father was threatening to torch his baby girl. He had soaked her clothing in gasoline and was threatening to “flick (his) Bic.” I want to assure you that I know of no police department or police academy that prepares you for this contingency. This is where years of street experience and compassion for the victim comes into play.

After an hour or more of negotiating with “Dad,” to no avail, I decided to force entry. With the help of two patrolmen and a Portland firefighter (armed with an extinguisher), we rescued the baby, who was indeed soaked with gasoline. And Dad was in possession of his Bic lighter.

This, and similar events, are what cops do daily throughout this country.

The Portland Police Department is comprised of a vast majority of sincere, decent and courageous men and women. Are they perfect? No. And that is because they are drawn from humanity. I also know that they are disgusted at and ashamed of what happened to George Floyd three weeks ago in Minneapolis.

Michael G. McDonough

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