DEAR ABBY: The media give us stories of racial conflict and the shooting of police officers almost daily, and every reporter and news anchor proposes solutions. As a Hispanic police officer in a small city, I have an observation.
I was having lunch the other day with two other officers. Sitting across from us was a young mom whose child was throwing a temper tantrum. I overheard her say, "If you don't behave, I'm going to give you to those police officers and let them beat you!"
Abby, my parents taught me the police were my friends -- people I could go to if I had a problem. We work hard to interact with the community. I wonder how many other tired and frustrated parents have made their children afraid of the police and created distrust. Like so many other "social problems," maybe a lot of this really starts with how parents teach their children. -- POLICE ARE MY FRIENDS
DEAR POLICE OFFICER: It is the parents' responsibility to discipline their children; it is not the job of the police! It is a huge mistake for parents to instill fear of authority figures in their children, because a day may come when the kid needs help from one of them.
And by the way, this doesn't happen only with law enforcement officers. I have heard of children who are terrified of doctors because their mothers threatened them by saying if they misbehaved, "the doctor would give them a shot." To say these are prime examples of poor parenting is putting it mildly.