Have you ever knocked on a door, knowing full well there might be a gun pointed at you from the other side? Have you ever stopped a carload of gangbangers on a dark street in the middle of the night, believing they were armed? Have you ever been pummeled by the fists of a mentally ill woman because you tried to stop her from wandering into heavy traffic? How many of your colleagues have been killed, shot at, stabbed, assaulted, spit upon or run down in the course of their employment? Those are everyday occurrences in every police department in the land.

Some in minority communities say they fear the police and call them an occupying army. How do you think it feels to be a lone officer on patrol in an area where half the people are openly hostile, and most of the rest are, at best, indifferent?

The criminal justice system is broken from top to bottom. Some want to fix it with fewer police and more social workers. Do you know the burnout rate among social workers?

Thomas W. Brown