Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

How the police saw that memorial procession

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on Nov. 13, 2009 at 6:09 pm with 5 Comments »
November 13, 2009 6:09 pm

We took a pointed shot Thursday at last week’s miles-long memorial police procession on behalf of murdered Seattle Officer Timothy Brenton. I expected to get torn to pieces after it ran, but was surprised: Reactions were evenly split between those who think the processions have gone over the top and those who thought we were spitting on Brenton’s grave.

Civilians tended to be of the former persuasion; the police of the latter (they didn’t put it quite so bluntly). The people with the badges have special standing in this debate. Here’s one particularly thoughtful comment from my exchange with one officer (I don’t have permission to use his name):

The murder of a police officer is an assault on the fabric of our society. The murder of an officer is an assault on each and every police officer in this country. We feel that way. That is why so many officers attend the service and honor the fallen.

We process to honor his life, his family, and his service to our nation. We have a bond that few do. When gunfire happened inside the Southcenter Mall during last year’s holiday season, people inside got outside as soon as possible. We ran headfirst to the sounds of the shooting. We ran past all the people fleeing to safety while we endangered ourselves. We only have each other to count on during those times.

I am not stating all this to be dramatic. I am trying to explain why upwards of 1,000 police officers, from far and away, have a need to be apart of the memorial.

It is very interesting that the duration and size of the procession is viewed negatively by the public. I only say this because the thing that bothers the public is the first thing that we take notice of. If seeing officers from Canada, California, Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and other states makes us feel the way it does, I can only imagine how Officer Brenton felt about it while he viewed from above.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. jimkingjr says:

    “The people with the badges have special standing in this debate.”

    And that is what is wrong with this whole thing- the special standing. It weaves throughout all aspects of an officer’s life, and is central to what goes wrong with law enforcement, too.

    An officer beats his or her spouse- it is given “special standing”- one of the egregious examples of this attitude. They can do anything, and expect that crowd of officers from all over to stand with them- against all others.

    It is WRONG.

  2. jukejunkie says:

    Not to be crass but what about the costs?

    Did the widow cover the cost of Key Arena?

    What about the cost to bring in extra officers who covered for those who went to the service and are those on paid leave?

    Who paid for the fuel and wear and tear of all the public vehicles for the ½ day long extravaganza?

    What about the travel costs of the out of country and state officers?

    Where is the accountability to the taxpayers if we paid for any of the above questions?

    Financial difficulties hit all of us and the EVERYONE has to make do with less, even the those with badges.

  3. I cannot believe that someone would bring up concerns over the costs involved in the memorial. What a sick thing to even consider, let alone say publicly.
    Police officers have one of the most stressful , most dangerous professions in the Nation, yet they are poorly respected.
    We curse them when they write us a ticket for speeding, yet ask where they are when someone blazes down your neighborhood streets. They are accused of harassment when busting a drug addict, yet we complain of the crime escalation that is caused by drugs (anyone remember Deputy John Bananola? A hero shot in cold blood during a drug bust yet support for his murderer is loud and growing).
    Don’t like the Police? Have no respect for their sacrifice? Next time your home or car are broken into, your child is molested or your brother murdered, call an attorney. See how quick the action is from that group of spineless jellyfish.
    Every time I’ve needed them to be there, they were there. Promptly, politely and professionally.
    Thank you, officers, for your service to our community. To the family and friends of Officer Brenton: we grieve with you for your loss and keep you and him in our prayers.

  4. redgauntlet says:

    What do you think now?

  5. A lot of this has been lobbied into law by law enforcement officers taking leaves of absence and getting elected to office then relentlessly performing self serving lobbying efforts.

    The Seattle PI did a story about how fire and police personnel do this year after year.

    It is definitely a conflict of interest yet nothing happens to deflect it.

    Likewise… Ask your local law enforcement people for a copy of their contract with the municipality they work for…No way! that is secret stuff…

    They really don;t want you to see all the stuff they have built into their nice little world.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0