Most of public values police personnel

I’m a proud retiree from Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. I strongly object to the subject and tone of Jeff Maehr’s letter (Herald, March 14). Maehr’s message is clearly anti-police, judiciary, and other civil personnel positions. He suggests a strong abuse of power among those who protect and serve all our communities.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall stands in Washington, D.C. It is a tribute to more 17,500 women and men of law enforcement who gave their lives in the service of their communities, dating back to 1792. In May, there will be a memorial week when new honorees will be inscribed on that wall. The 2012 honorees will rightfully be acknowledged and honored.

I know 12 names on that wall. My cousin, Martin Donovan, is listed there. He was an officer who was shot and killed while walking a foot beat in Washington, D.C. He was 28 years old. He left behind a wife and 3-year-old daughter.

Maehr describes the sudden fear of seeing police emergency lights in his rear view mirror after an “great evening out.” He also describes stress, fear, anxiety and anger in being stopped for a traffic violation. The public servant who initiates the stop is described as a “lurking predator.”

I wonder if Maehr would describe this traffic stop in such a derogatory manner if an impaired driver continued on his way and maimed or killed Maehr’s loved one in an accident? Is Maehr aware that the No. 1 incident in which law enforcement personnel are injured or killed is the direct result of traffic stops ?

Maehr is so wrong on so many levels. The vast majority of the protected public greatly values and supports its law-enforcement personnel.

All of today’s women and men in our many law-enforcement units are volunteers. They all freely choose to protect and serve – even if that service results in their injury or loss of life. They know the risks. There are more than 17,500 (and counting) names on a wall to attest to their service.

Kevin McCarthy