Editorial: ‘Back the Blue’ movement gives Parkites a chance to say ‘Thanks’ | ParkRecord.com

Editorial: ‘Back the Blue’ movement gives Parkites a chance to say ‘Thanks’


Park City citizens will have the opportunity this Saturday to show their gratitude to local police officers for the difficult and often dangerous work they do. The event is part of a national ‘Back the Blue’ initiative in response to the recent shooting of a police deputy in Texas. Residents are invited to stop by The Market in Park City between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday to pick up blue ribbons for their homes and window decals for their cars to show their solidarity with law enforcement.

After yet another solemn anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, it is gratifying to have the opportunity to reaffirm our appreciation for law enforcement personnel whose sacrifices are, too often, taken for granted.

In addition to the shooting in Texas, there has been a rash of violence against law enforcement officers across the country. In 2013 45 officers were killed in the line of duty, in 2014 that number increased to 63. So far, this year the tally is 25.

Thankfully, Park City and Summit County officers have been spared, but still, they face unknown risks every time they pull over a driver, respond to a barroom brawl or try to diffuse a domestic violence complaint.

Some say the increase in violence against police officers is a reaction to recent high profile cases in Ferguson, Baltimore and Cleveland in which law enforcement personnel have been accused of using excessive force. Also, thanks to the use of cell phones and social media, there is undeniable evidence that racial profiling is still a serious problem. Those miscarriages of justice must be exposed and corrected. However, they do not justify the disrespect that police officers have recently endured or the intolerable increase in attacks on public safety personnel.

Park City and Summit County have had their own discussions about allegedly heavy handed law enforcement. But those conversations were civil and enlightening, unlike the violent protests that disrupted other towns.

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all recent accounts our local officers are held in high esteem. They have been credited with preventing suicides, engaging in community service and even helping visitors find their way in unfamiliar territory. Last weekend, Park City Policemen along with Summit County Sheriff’s deputies participated in an annual event to raise awareness about domestic violence — even though it meant wobbling down the street in high heels.

Most days their jobs may be routine but we also know, when faced with an unexpected threat, they will risk their own lives for ours. For that we are deeply grateful.