Police earn our trust everyday

To the Editor,

The tragic deaths of five police officers in Dallas on July 7, the loss on July 12 of two bailiffs in a Berrien County courtroom by a prisoner who wrested a gun from one of the officers, the July 17 Baton Rouge police ambush that took the lives of three officers, and the murder of a police captain in Kansas City on Tuesday leave most of us shaking our heads in disbelief. What is our country coming to? As we reflect on those horrible events, we probably relax a bit, knowing we are fortunate to live in a city where peace and order and community spirit rule the day. Events like these could never happen in Tecumseh. We were, luckily, unaffected.

If only that were true.

Ask the officers at the Tecumseh Police Department. On behalf of the department, a Tecumseh officer attended the funeral of Berrien County Bailiff Ron Kienzle on Monday. Just a week ago, a Toledo man was charged by Tecumseh police with Operating While Intoxicated, among other things. While in custody he said, "You all wonder why you get killed? I'm happy you all got killed. You (expletive) got killed and it was a good day, ha, ha. You all killed us, so we killed you."  The topic continues to resonate among the officers. How do they keep themselves safe? Who will they encounter that buys into the cop-hating frenzy and is unstable enough to act?

Ask members of Tecumseh City Council. They feel the subject is significant enough to adopt a resolution saying they appreciate and support police officers.

Ask Lenawee County District Court Judge Laura Schaedler. Her bailiff meets her at her car every day when she arrives at work. The deaths in Berrien County led her staff to review their procedures. She knows she’s at risk every day, but says she doesn’t fear the future because she has hope.

Ask the cop who is a local high school graduate and serves as an officer at a police department in a Detroit suburb. He recently traveled to Dallas as part of his department’s honor guard and attended two funerals while there. In Dallas he was hugged by hundreds of people of all creeds, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status in a show of appreciation. At other times in the middle of a friendly conversation he has seen people change their attitude toward him when they find out what he does for a living.

Ask his parents who are very proud of him — and worried.

Ask the Tecumseh Herald writer who interviewed these parents for an article. The feature would have been poignant, timely, and relevant, yet the fear by their devoted and protective son that a hate group or a mentally disturbed individual or someone he previously arrested would somehow search them out and hurt them led them to ask that we kill the story.

Ask yourselves. When there are fewer police patrolling the streets because people no longer want to risk harm to their loved ones or themselves to be a cop, who will protect and serve you? Who will preserve law and order?


Kerry Hamilton Smith


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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