CAMDEN By PATRIC FLANNIGAN
In today’s climate, it’s important to point out the positives. One of those positives lately has been our very own Camden Police Department.
The CPD has done a great job of not just protecting and serving, but also being approachable, patient and involved. To be honest, when we look at national news, we often see law enforcement doing bad things - shooting an unarmed minority, being corrupt or using excessive force on young children. But it’s important to note that there are some cops out there who really care for the people they protect. The job isn't just a ‘paycheck’ to them.
I’m of the belief that there is no such thing as a “bad” cop, but there are bad people that end up with a gun and a badge. To ignore the fact that there are people in police uniforms who are only trying to take advantage of their power would really be an ignorant thing to do. However, there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in every profession. But in my opinion, the CPD has done a great job of becoming one with our community.
I recently went to the “Stop the Violence” block party at Ivra Clark Park and it was great to see the police officers interacting and having fun with everyone. Then I went on Facebook and saw an officer passing out popsicles to children that she sees in her patrol area. The CPD also joined forces with the Camden News to help raise money for Carlee Perrin in her fight with PANDAS syndrome. This - along with the city-wide Easter Egg hunt, Citizens Police classes, and the CPD presence at community events - are just examples that police officers are people and not security.
Recently, our police officers were faced with two incidents where I felt it would’ve been understandable if they used excessive force. One involved a knife-wielding suspect, and another involved a driver dragging an officer with his car as he tried to escape. In both cases, our police officers used patience. They basically put their lives in jeopardy to save the lives of others around them.
I’m thankful that our police department isn’t just looking to patrol, but also looking to build relationships. They have an open-door policy and have even more projects that they are planning to do to promote community policing and involvement.
We are fortunate to have the police department that we do, and it’s important that they know that they are appreciated.