2016 brought with it a larger number of controversial and unfavorably portrayed situations regarding police officers. It seemed as if the spotlight shown only on the bad aspects of situations while hiding the positive factors that the police force contribute to our community. The overlooked good that officers bring often leads to the focus being planted on the negative.
The September shooting near Sierra Middle School resulted in the severe injury of deputy Dan Brite. Support and concern echoed throughout the community, but for Brite’s niece, sophomore Alexis Ferguson, the situation hit close to home. As Brite is continuing his recovery with a positive attitude, Ferguson said “I do feel scared for my uncle’s safety in the future, as well as his wife who is also an officer.”
After a lot of hate that the police force has gotten, many believe it’s still vital to recognize the positive impact they have on the community. “I would like to see more respect. I feel like when I watch the news I hear about something going on with a police officer and I don’t really hear anything good, it always seems to be negative,” Ferguson said. It seemed as if Parker read Ferguson’s mind as everyone came together as a whole. Fundraisers were started and many donated to a GoFundMe made for Officer Brite. The police force was also saluted at the Chaparral vs. Legend football game as both sides wore blue in honor of Officer Brite. “When my uncle got hurt, the way our community came together was so heartwarming, and when the news reporters were around we always wanted to make the situation sound more of a positive than a negative. Making it sound positive is a way to gain more respect in any situation,” Ferguson added.
Some believe that respecting our police force doesn’t seem to be as big of a priority as it should be, but the community's eyes seemed to be open when one of its very own was hurt. “I believe that not every officer will get the respect they deserve from the community, but I do believe that they try their absolute hardest to protect and do what’s right,” concluded Ferguson. As Officer Brite was released, many people were around cheering him on. Although continuing to have a couple complications, he still continues to recover while keeping a positive attitude. Not only is it an important reminder to respect our authorities, but also important to keep the community feeling together.
By: Ally Clinard