OUR VIEW: Police deserve our thanks

By Observer editorial February 07, 2014 11:10 am

Thanks to Mother Nature’s magic carpet and some nifty police work, La Grande has one less suspected criminal on the streets.

The call came in Saturday morning from an alert citizen. Thanks to fresh snow, officers from the La Grande Police Department were able to track a suspect and his vehicle and make an arrest. The police were able to recover all the property allegedly stolen.

Not all cases turn out so well. Burglary and theft cases can be notoriously hard to crack.

One of the community’s strengths is a low crime rate. But with an increase in methamphetamine addiction, among other things, comes more petty crime — and crime that is not so petty. It requires eternal vigilance on the part of citizens and the police to keep the tide in favor of the law-abiding public and not the criminals.

The police are there for us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They respond to domestic abuse cases that are notoriously dangerous. They step into these difficult and emotional situations and often diffuse them. 

The rewards for the police are occasionally saving lives and, on a daily basis, helping people make better choices. Even though it’s an inherently stressful occupation, a police officer’s work serves the greater good, and that can be a big reward. 

The latest incident prompted Lt. Derick Reddington to remind residents we are not living in Mayberry here, the town in the popular television show which originally aired from 1968 to 1971. Times have changed. Residents need to lock their cars and homes, especially if they are away or at night. Citizens also can keep an eye out for crime and report incidences right away. In the case Saturday, that was important, because a few hours later, the tracks in the snow would have vanished. 

The police do an important job in our community maintaining public safety. We need to honor the police for the risks they take every day and for their sacrifice to maintain our quality of life.