I AGREE with your whole article ("Time to restore faith in the police", The Herald, September 20), except the phrase referring to honest, dedicated police, where you say, "They are often so few and far between ..."
My perception is that there are many, many honest, dedicated police. Our "perception", however, is that there are few of them because the dishonest cops are mostly so cleverly able to cover their illegal activities, that our own fear and desire of self-preservation makes it seem safer to suspect everyone.
And who can blame us?
We are vulnerable.
Gone are the days when the cop on the beat was the best person to trust.
How do we know what to expect with the police nowadays?
Bad cops spoil our trust, and, when they are discovered, they are not harshly dealt with.
There is another issue, too: policemen face dangers as partners and as teams.
Without trust, they are in trouble. And there seems to be an element of too much forgiveness and too much acceptance by their colleagues.
Add to this a lack of confidence to report issues because "what happens if I unknowingly report issues to a rogue senior cop?"
Rotten apples do exist, and this needs strong managerial application, and the good guys need to stick together.
Question is, who are the good guys?
We need a very harsh justice system in which wayward cops are dealt with in a harsher manner than civilians, because the level of expectation from them is greater.
Though not excusing any of their colleagues' nefarious activities, the good ones also feel threatened.
Reality is, there are many great cops, putting their bodies on the line to protect and serve us. And we must thank them.
The rot needs to be excised throughout the force, but it needs to start at the top.
Good cops need to be retained.
In this regard, I believe the police, teachers, nurses and emergency service personnel are undervalued.
John Price, Port Elizabeth