Student Blog: Jefferson De Jesus
August 1, 2016:
Working in the Community of Police and Students Project (C.O.P.S), I predict my life has been saved, in regards to any future interactions with an officer. Before my involvement in the project, I didn’t necessarily have a negative view of police, but I didn’t have a positive one either. On my walk to middle school, when the patrol car rode by, I felt the same worry as when suspicious cars with tinted windows, and huge rims passed me by. Rationally speaking I thought police were supposed to be society’s protectors, yet unfortunately my middle schools self never saw police protecting someone, or doing good deeds. On the contrary, I observed the angry energy people portrayed anytime the cops were around, or arresting someone. I saw the countless news clips of cops mistreating civilians, as if it was their God given right. Finally, the individual stories of my peers interacting with cops, would slay any bit of trust I had towards police. Unfortunately, with this mentality, if I was to be stopped by a cop for whatever reason, I would have most likely responded in a rebellious manner, and if that officer was a bad one, he or she would have had an excuse to misrepresent the badge.
I said misrepresent because my awareness has been opened greatly, by training with the cadets. There are a considerable number of lessons learned that upgraded my awareness, as well as many awesome experiences that I would remember for life. This week I would share about the first Hero I met, Officer Archie McKay. Mr. McKay was one of the first black cops in the state of Florida. His story defines the word perseverance. Mr. McKay and his friends decided to take action, and be part of the desegregation movement. They worked hard to become police officers, and opened the door for future officers. One interesting aspect of his story was, when he mentioned that back in his day, there was trust between the community and police officers. Back in his time, His fight was more focused on racism, not on the trust of the community he was policing, (as long as they were black of course). This made me aware that a good civilian to cop relationship it’s what is supposed occur. Before hearing that, I never truly imagined such a trusting relationship existed. From the impact of perseverance, to a time when people trusted the police, Mr. McKay opened the doors of my imagination, as to what can be realistically possible. Do you think realistically, there was ever a time when police men were respected, accepted, and trusted by the community?
Thank you for reading,