EDITORIAL: This certainly isn’t Mayberry

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A local police officer took to Twitter last Saturday evening to express a truth with which we are all much too intimate.

“Every night I’m reminded that we’re sure not in Mayberry anymore,” the veteran officer wrote.

And while that reminder may well come through every night, Saturday evening was especially poignant for officers in the area. That afternoon, a man shot Cloverdale Officer Luke Brown in the chest with a shotgun.

Fortunately for all of us — not least of which is the man not facing murder charges — Officer Brown was wearing his ballistic vest. He survived the incident, returning fire and rendering medical aid to his alleged assailant until medics arrived.

The truth is that we were probably never actually in the Mayberry many of us like to remember. Our problems were never so simple as Barney’s or Opie’s or Goober’s, that Andy could solve them in less than 30 minutes each week.

This is a small town and while we do retain those rural, Midwestern values, locally-tied names like Eyler, Minnick and Drollinger can still send chills down the spines of longtime residents.

The truth is, folks, these are even scarier times for police officers and their families.

Anger and quick tempers seem to be rising trends in society. The value of human life seems to be shrinking. Stories coming in from around the country of police officers committing seemingly needless acts of violence against civilians only promote an “us against them” attitude.

Proper steps are being taken in Officer Brown’s case to ensure he acted properly in returning fire on Saturday. The details of the case revealed so far seem to show Officer Brown acted properly, which should give reassurance to area residents.

We have a number of good law enforcement agencies and many good officers serving this area. Keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

When you see them out and about, treat them with kindness and respect. Let them know you appreciate what they do.

That’s the very least we can do as citizens.