The good behind the blue

My experience with police officers


Kaitlyn Gordon

Texarkana, Arkansas Sgt. Jeremy Gordon helps senior Garret Burks with his homework as part of the Police Mentoring Program. Some believe that police officers are misunderstood and stereotyped.

Story by Ashlyn Winters, staff writer

Growing up with a police officer as a father makes me proud. Whenever he would come to have lunch with me during elementary school in his police uniform, I felt thrilled because I knew that he protected people and the community for a living.

I remember that I would go to the police station with my father and hang out with the officers. This allowed me to get to know them on a personal level. I enjoyed getting to learn what goes on behind the scenes and what the police officers do for a living. I participated in fun activities such as a ride in police cars and play with the sirens.

Many people in this generation possess negative opinions about the police. Groups around the country hold violent protests about the police resulting in individuals getting hurt. However, the police force serves and protects the community, so what is more “brutal” than that? Despite the recent increase in public opinions against the police, the police force remains dedicated to serving and protecting.

Growing up around police officers, I have learned to appreciate and respect them. I learned that being an officer is no easy task. Not only are the hours demanding but it is a dangerous job. So far this year, seven officers have been killed in the line of duty. This number steadily rises each year.

The Texarkana Police Department performs multiple heroic acts each year that prove how courageous they are. For instance, each year the Texarkana Police Department hosts Shop with a Cop, Dinner with a Cop, P.R.I.D.E. Academy and Police Mentoring Program.

Police Mentoring Program is an after-school program which involves Texarkana police officers going to different elementary and middle schools around town to help students with homework. The officers will also give advice to children who have unfortunate home lives. This demonstrates to the children that the police are their friend and that they can trust them.

Although there will always be people who doubt the police and strive to be against them, the police are good people in my eyes.  

— Ashlyn Winters

P.R.I.D.E. Academy focuses on teaching students who are coming into College Hill Middle School about the importance of respecting the police and respecting yourself. Although most of the students that enter the program are well behaved and respectful, there are always a handful of kids who are the opposite. However, the officers and peer leaders work with each child individually in order to bring out the best in them.

An event hosted each year around the holidays, known as Dinner with a Cop, feeds children from local orphanages and provides them with Christmas presents. In addition, the children can ride in the police cars and play with the lights and sirens. There are many fun games that the kids can play, and they can also visit Santa.

Events like these prove that the police force is dedicated to their citizens. I personally experienced each of these events each year, and I notice how strong bonds are created between the police officers and the children.

This relationship changes each kid’s life because they have a friend who will be there for them and protect them in times of trouble. I never once doubted the police in my community. I can see how someone who has not grown up around the police and only sees the bad sides might doubt them. But, from the way I grew up, I learned that they are good and bring out the best in our community. Without their public service, the country would be a rough place. There are always bad police officers, but they cannot make up for the amount of good one.