Local law enforcement on alert after recent officer shootings
GAINESVILLE, Fla -For many, the recent death toll stemming from clashes with police paints a concerning picture. And while we're not seeing many widespread policy changes, local agencies are on alert after all these officer-involved shootings.
Black lives matter, cop lives matter… All lives matter. These phrases are now heard often.
Ibram Kendi a professor at the University of Florida who teaches african american history says there's a reason for that. "Reasonable americans cannot deny the videos that are being shown. They cannot sent the audio that is being shown. They're seeing these examples where clearly these officers should've decelerated the situation. Politicians should not be encouraging particular stations. We cannot deny this evidence. This evidence that police brutality is a problem," Kendi said.
On the other side of the issue, in the past ten days, four officers have been shot and killed while on the job. Most recently lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, in Illinois, shot and killed Tuesday morning.
Sgt. Frank Kinsey a patrol deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, said, "Locally it does affect us. My family is terrified. There are other deputies and law enforcement families that are upset and nervous about when we go out to work. When we go to the gas station, when we go to the gym… we wear a uniform and we're always a target. We're readily identifiable and that makes us a target. Just by surely wearing a uniform."
Sgt. Frank Kinsey said, he's worried over the recent attacks against law enforcement. Despite the incident he says training for them has not changed. “Dispatch is now proving additional units as backup. Sometimes we would have cancelled back up now that zone partner is actually coming to make sure things work out," he added.
Dr. David Thomas a retired GPD officer and professor says officers need to be trained in a way that helps them recognize those circumstances that are deadly and those that aren't. "It's sad… If you think about it, somewhere we've lost a sense of civility. Where the citizens don't trust police and on the other side of that, the police now… There's a form of vigilante justice, where people are trying to carry out actions against law enforcement. So it's a real sad situation," Dr. Thomas said.
Dr. Thomas believes that police officers and community members need to learn to work together to find themselves and overcome this issue.
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