By Bryan Kirkes, Alexandria (File photo)
Recently, an Alexandria Police Department officer was denied service at a local restaurant in the city solely because she was in uniform and an employee took umbrage with that fact and re- fused to cook her order (“Po- lice officer denied service at Noodles & Company,” July 28). The officer left the restaurant and did not escalate the issue, despite the fact that most people would have.
Later, Police Chief Earl Cook and Mayor Allison Silberberg contacted the restaurant management to ascertain what happened and hopefully resolve any underlying issues. Restaurant management responded by terminating two employees at their restaurant. But where was the outrage from Vice Mayor Justin Wilson, other city councilors, City Manager Mark Jinks and residents as a whole?
Yes, I understand that there are some people across the country upset with their local law enforcement agency and there are some officers who have abused their power. But the vast majority of police officers today are good cops. There are countless officers throughout the United States who want nothing more than to protect, serve and return home at the end of their shift.
Every single profession — doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, priests, plumbers, police, etc. — has what I call the “1 percenters,” who look for ways to do a sloppy job or ignore internal rules or policies. Management will sooner or later weed out these bad employees.
It is wrong to paint all police officers with the same brush, just because a few have abused their powers. Just as some bad officers don’t represent American law enforcement as a whole, neither are the small number of protesters who have called for violence against the police representative of all demonstrators who have gathered peacefully to promote their causes.
Next to those that serve in the military, I can’t think of another profession where the danger level is so high, yet you still find dedicated people willing to serve despite the low pay, low morale and lack of public support.
If we don’t support our police departments, what is the result? The days of the Wild West? Vigilantism? Rampant discrimination and lawlessness surely would flourish. Furthermore, when you need help, who would you call?
I would like to thank Cook and Silberberg for standing by our APD officers, and I call on the rest of city council, the city manager and residents writ large to support our police officers, because one day you will need them and, more importantly, because they deserve our support.