Civilians must trust police

Published 11:19 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

After listening to the news on the radio recently, I noticed that 90 percent of the stories in this particular broadcast pertained to either fatal police officer shootings or that of unarmed civilians.

Even though these incidents have been in the media’s bright spotlight for well over a year now, hearing story after story about these horrific incidents left me with a thought as I traveled down the road.

We have a serious problem in America, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear solution.

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There’s no easy answer as to why police officers shoot people who may or may not be armed, nor is there a crystal ball that can tell us why people feel the need to hurt the brave men and women who put their lives on the line day in and day out to protect us and our families.

I think we’re very fortunate and blessed that we live in a community here in the Heart of Virginia where such activity has not infiltrated.

The reason for that is two-fold, in my humble opinion: trust and respect.

The people of this area trust their men and women in uniform while they, in turn, respect us. There’s evidence of this all around us — just open up the pages of this newspaper at Christmastime and see police officers who take less-fortunate children out shopping for holiday gifts. Another example is the off-duty sheriff’s deputy who helps a stranded motorist alongside the highway even though she doesn’t have to. Our law enforcement officers are in and out of the schools all the time, building relationships and fostering open lines of communication, not only between each other but the community as a whole.

While not perfect, these relationships between police and the community take time, patience and understanding — all traits that are difficult to attain.

The fact of the matter is that anything is liable to happen anywhere, but, as a wise old woman once told me, you’ve got to “let the chips fall where they may.”

When you live in a community like this one, the chips are more likely to fall onto the ground of common trust and acceptance rather than between the cracks into the darkness of distrust and assumptions.

Jordan Miles is the managing editor of Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. His email address is