We must come together, keep hands in open

I truly feel our country is in as much danger as it was on Dec. 7, 1941 — you know, the date that will live in infamy, which put us into World War II.

How did we come through that? We put our differences aside and united as Americans. Perhaps we can learn from the greatest generation.

Remember D-Day? Thousands of allied soldiers stormed the beaches of France, knowing many would die, but they kept going. They had a mission to accomplish. They didn’t care where the person behind, next to or in front of them came from or what they believed in. They were brothers. That’s what we all as Americans should feel and believe.

We are so fortunate to be Americans. It doesn’t matter what your race or religion is or if you are a man or woman. Women played as big a part as the men, serving as nurses and the builders of all that firepower it took to win the war.

Now it seems we don’t always know our enemies, but the challenge is just as great. We must unite as Americans and stop the needless violence. We must rally behind our troops and first responders. All Americans need to be held responsible for their actions.

Many groups have declared war on our law enforcement. That means they are declaring war on us all. I am ready for our leaders to lead. From the president on down, accept responsibility for the good people you serve.

Our country is in trouble right now, but don’t support our law enforcement officers and see where we end up. It’s amazing how so many people want to bash the police; however, they are quick to call when they need help.

I agree that too many people are getting shot by police. However I also feel these people put themselves in harm’s way.

The advice I give could actually save your life: if you get pulled over, put your hands where the officer can see them. Respect their authority and follow their commands. Remember, each officer’s No. 1 job is to go home to his or her family when the shift is over.

Too many people have no respect for authority and want to argue. Some are really not horrible people, but some are the worst of the worst. How is the officer to know the difference? If you put your hands where they can be seen, show respect and follow commands, your chance of getting shot goes down probably 100 percent.

We’ve seen protests all across the country after police officers have been accused of shooting people who aren’t armed. Take the time to Google “Jarrett Maupin — Shoot Don’t Shoot.” This shows a protestor and critic of law enforcement going through training. The story speaks for itself. The officer has a split second to make a life or death decision.

Parents must teach their children to respect law enforcement. You must teach your children to respect. If you don’t teach your children to respect you, they will not respect anyone. When they come in contact with police, they put themselves in harm’s way.

This should not be a racial, sexual or religious issue. I guarantee you it would not matter if you are black, white, brown, Jewish, Christian, man, woman or transgender. If I’m a police officer who stops you and you interfere with my goal of going home to my family and pull a gun with intent to shoot me, I will do my best to shoot you first.

Practice: keep your hands where they can be seen. Show respect. Follow commands. I truly believe it’s that simple.

Wayne Addison is chief probation officer for the Hancock County Probation Department. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfieldreporter.com.