Opinion » Letters

Police should be held to a higher standard

Santa Maria



I read your article about how SLO county cops are not required to submit to random drug testing (“No random drug testing for cops,” Oct. 29). The expert Eugene O’Donnell was quoted as saying they should submit because the public sees it as a double standard. The article states that taxi, limousine, ambulance, bus, and truck drivers must submit to random drug testing for life just because they drive. Cops drive faster than speed limits in dangerous situations and they are authorized to use lethal force. Why should they be considered different?

From my experience, law enforcement is full of double standards.  We see cops speeding all the time when not headed to any emergency.  We all know of situations where off-duty cops were not cited or arrested for breaking laws related to driving. Many examples are petty, but some are terrifying.

 It’s pretty hard to find someone who doesn’t have a story about inappropriate police conduct. We have woven it into our pop culture without question. A bad cop story is common; a good cop story is like a bigfoot sighting.

Some studies have found police officers to have among the highest rates of alcoholism, spousal abuse, and infidelity of any profession. Cops should be even more subject to laws, morality, and ethics than other people because they have taken an oath to enforce laws and protect us. When a cop breaks the law, he or she devalues all of us. When other cops protect him or her, they sell out our nation.  Such conduct defaces our nationalism and family values in ways that can never be repaired. It is for this reason that cops and other public officials should be held to a higher standard than the public.

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