Eric Nevins, president of the Portland Police Superiors Officers Association, writes an op-ed (July 29) asking why Portland officials don’t stand up for our police. How sad he has to write that op-ed. Lukewarm expressions of support from the mayor and a few city councilors have not left officers feeling appreciated or understood by the public. Nor has this paper helped.

Are there “bad apples”? Maybe. But so what? How many supercilious surgeons, money-grubbing lawyers and criminally incompetent stockbrokers have I known over my 70 years in Portland? Plenty. How many times have I witnessed police deal with the homeless, the witless, the drug-addled, the drunks, thieves and drug runners with empathy and professionalism? Plenty. Can I say that of any other Portland profession? No.

We live in a highly polarized world. But it is not the job of a beat officer to solve 400 years of racial hatred; it’s not an officer’s job to factor in income inequality during an arrest; it’s not an officer’s job to consider ingrained oppression when determining the correct response to mayhem. An officer’s job is to uphold the rule of law to the best of their ability, while respecting the inherent rights of all.

Each of us should be thankful for our men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect all of us, and in doing so, preserve the very shaky foundation of our noble experiment: democracy.

Charles Miller


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