My wife and I were driving back from dinner last night when we heard police sirens. It was an officer responding to a call so we did what you’re supposed to do, which is pull over to the side of the road. However, as I got out of the officer’s way, for a brief moment the thought entered my mind that the person behind the wheel might be impaired. The thought only stayed there for a second, but the fact remains it was there.
If someone as pro-law enforcement as me was thinking that for a brief moment, I can only imagine what other motorists must have been thinking. And that is the fundamental problem with the David Bisard matter. It goes beyond the tragic accident, to a matter of trust between law enforcement and the community it is supposed to serve.
The only way public safety can truly be effective is if the community at -large has trust and faith in it. The public is willing to accept the occasional bad apple. In any organization you will have people who drop the ball and the public is forgiving. Not so much this time. Public trust has been shattered.
The real tragedy in all this is there is not going to be any quick resolve to all this. And to make matters worse, the people who’ve always had an ax to grind with law enforcement are taking advantage of the opportunity to exploit it for their own personal gain. The only thing law enforcement can do is work slowly to get back in the good graces of the public.
I hope they don’t have to be anywhere any time soon, because that’s going to take a while.