Our job got tougher last Friday. As a cop for the past 40 years, I was appalled when I heard President Trump condone injuring an individual in police custody [“Fire from four corners friendly to President Trump,” The Sunday Take, July 30]. This violates the Constitution, department policy and the public trust. While any elected official can give his or her views on how the police should do their jobs, it is the actions of police officers that speak directly to who we are. Applause from police for those remarks confirmed to those who don’t like or trust the police that we give a wink and a nod to excessive force. We don’t. My hope is that the officers at Friday’s event felt an awkward duty to laugh at Mr. Trump’s inappropriate comments.
For the past three years, the actions of a small number of police officers have shaped the narrative of policing in this nation. The fact is that police use of force has gone down over the years and accountability has gone up. We still have more we can do to keep this trend moving in the right direction, but the training given to officers today has never been better.
Police officers today are courageous and professional. We are better at hiring the right people in the first place, investing in their training throughout their career and holding them accountable for their actions. I’m proud of my officers. They risk their lives every day to keep the public safe. They feel a keen sense of responsibility to keep everyone safe, and that includes the people we arrest.
J. Thomas Manger, Gaithersburg
The writer is chief of the Montgomery County
Police Department and president of the
Major Cities Chiefs Association.