Speak Out Editorial- 06/11/15 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Speak Out Editorial- 06/11/15

We were reminded again last week of the deteriorating trust between police departments and the communities they serve. In Texas what appears to be - at best - over reaction and at worst blatant racism is the cause for a national uproar. 

A police officer manhandles a teenage girl and then draws his weapon in what appears to be a completely disproportionate response to the situation. What is absent from the video is the first action, the incident that prompted a police presence in the first place. That is a crucial and missing part of the picture. 

But it cannot be disputed that cellphone videos and the explosion of social media have created a pervasive credibility gap for police departments that must be addressed. 

We would suggest a starting point is in the evaluation and training of the police officers. Clearly there are some bad cops out there alongside of a vast majority of good ones. We also applaud programs like national night out and a Beaufort initiative that puts cops and kids in trust building gatherings away from the tension of a crime scene. 

It might also be time to return to cop-on-the-beat policing. The editorial board believes that officers on foot patrolling neighborhoods could be both a deterrent to crime and a positive, relationship building presence in the community. But we're open to suggestions: what do you think?

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