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Posts published in “Day: January 7, 2015”

On indiscriminate hero worship

harris ROBERT


Hero: [heer-oh] noun, plural heroes; also heros. 1. a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. 2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal:

Police forces on the defensive and in fear of patrolling our streets. Protests in cities large and small. Police and community afraid of the other.

How did it become such a binary and non-nuanced argument, with defenders of our blue line insistent that any critique of police techniques or actions is an attack on them personally and endangers their safety? And why are some critics of police tactics and individual officers insisting that all police are corrupt and dangerous?

Our current culture of unquestioned hero worship of regular people just doing their jobs – difficult jobs – and a police culture embracing that hero worship could be a primary cause of the disconnect.

Heroes aren’t supposed to be wrong. Or bad. Or make mistakes. Post 9/11 it seems it’s assumed – and we’re constantly being coaxed to publicly acknowledge – that every single public safety officer is a hero. So when an officer does something bad or makes a mistake, it engenders a sense of real betrayal . You expect bad guys to be bad. You expect imperfect humans to make mistakes. You don’t expect either from a hero.

The unquestioned hero worship is unfair to officers as well. If an officer has been told for 15 years that they are without question a hero by putting on a uniform, there could be a sense of entitlement by that officer. Heroes may not expect to be criticized for their errors or may become overzealous because of righteousness. They may not expect to be talked back to or questioned. All of these behaviors are bound to lead to some very bad interactions with the public.

Without a doubt it takes a person with some bravery to enter a profession where you face bad guys and unpleasant situations on a daily basis. And even though police officer isn’t in the top ten most dangerous jobs (33 officers died by unlawful violence in the line of duty in 2013), it is still dangerous physically even if officer deaths. Officers engage in scuffles and incur minor and major injuries. And the threat of violence itself is stressful and mentally damaging. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

New Simplot beef processing plant for Kuna? (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Profiling Senator Rice, new ag chair (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune)
Bonneville County officials set priorities (IF Post Register)
Roads deadlier in north-central Idaho last year (Lewiston Tribune)
Cows may help with noxious weeds (Lewiston Tribune)
Syringa mobile homes seeing new water issues (Moscow News)
Staben urging increases in enrollment (Moscow News)
Pullman plans cemetery fee increases (Moscow News)
Ybarra adding a little more to her plans (Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News)
Chobani disputes NY Post accounts of trouble there (TF Times News)
State committee concerned over test questions (TF Times News)

Leaburg dam operators set gate to open (Eugene Register Guard)
Majority backs 'In God we trust' at county room (KF Herald & News)
Eugene council reschedules meetings for football (KF Herald & News)
Larson's home furnishings at Medford nearly gone (Medford Tribune)
Farmers concerned about Boardman power line (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Pendleton keeps business licenses the same (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Jewell sets fire plan that protects sage grouse (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Business leaders urge traffic congestion help (Portland Oregonian)
Salem may see revived commercial air service (Salem Statesman Journal)
Salem sets plan for Riverfront park area (Salem Statesman Journal)

Nimitz remaining in Everett a little longer (Bremerton Sun)
Boeing note record number of shipments (Everett Herald)
Monroe auditors find bookkeeping problems (Everett Herald)
Mine plans run aground near Mt St Helens (Vancouver Columbian, Longview News)
Lacey's first recreational marijuana store opens (Olympian)
Lewis-McChord sends first unit to Iraq in 3 years (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
First Federal stock already oversubscribed (Port Angeles News)
Reviewing the first year of Washington legal pot (Port Angeles News)
Future of electric cars in time of cheap gas (Seattle Times)
Spokane's Condon proposes jobs panel (Spokane Spokesman)
Rivers plans would license smokeless pot shops (Vancouver Columbian)
Cleanup of old gas station on W Nob Hill (Yakima Herald Republic)
Newhouse gets House committee assignments (Yakima Herald Republic)

Video: Rifles in Idaho

Austin Overman of LRSU competing in the November 2014 Precision Rifle Series in Idaho. This is the first "for points" match of the 2015 season even though it's being held in 2014. (November 18)