We’ve watched all summer as the war on cops has intensified around the country, including here in Madison. Police stations and police cars have been set on fire. Officers of the law have been attacked with bricks, lasers and Molotov cocktails, ambushed as onlookers laugh, fired and indicted for doing their jobs, and used as political currency.
Some police organizations and unions such as the National Association of Police Organizations, Fraternal Order of Police, and the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, have stood up to the attacks and false narratives generated about the nearly 1 million men and women who serve our cities with courage and dignity.
Yet some dues-collecting Wisconsin police organizations, including the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and Madison Professional Police Officers Association, have conspicuously said little.
This sends a message to rank-and-file officers that they’re not valued, as well as to provocateurs that attacks on police officers will be tolerated.
Working toward improved relations between police and the community is of course admirable and necessary. But embracing critics while failing to speak up when cops are being demoralized and attacked puts them (and ultimately us) in danger.
This is not the time for surrender. Our heroes need leaders who demonstrate courage under fire.
Paula Fitzsimmons, Madison
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