I’d like to strike a positive note in support of our police. There is a national conversation taking place about our law enforcement community with loud voices from the Left demanding that we ‘Defund the Police.’ The simple truth is that today our police need our support, now more than ever. Thankfully, here in New Hampshire, we stand strong with our local law enforcement, where Granite Stater’s give our police overwhelming support. In fact, achieving an eighty-eight percent approval rating according to a recent poll.
Moreover, Governor Sununu has been a steadfast leader on this issue, working closely with our law enforcement community and others to analyze and improve practices. In fact, the Governor’s recent ‘Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency’ has charted a path toward continuous improvement and helping our New Hampshire police to attain the highest possible levels of achievement.
Once again, the Granite State leads the way, and the truth is, I’m not surprised in the least. We in New Hampshire have a strong tradition of community involvement and solving problems at the local level. As a young boy growing up in the small town of Newport, I had the opportunity to get to know, respect and appreciate local law enforcement on an ‘up close’ basis. Walking to school every day at the age of 6, I remember seeing our friendly Police Chief Alex Lewko, actually serving as a crossing guard at our elementary school. Carefully and gently shepherding us all across the busy street.
Today, in Newport, we are blessed to have Police Chief Brent Wilmot. Brent took the helm as Chief just over six months ago and is providing leadership of the highest caliber. Creating an ‘esprit de corps’ and professionalism. Also, taking innovative and proactive measures such as providing his entire team with ‘De-escalation Training’ in the wake of the recent social unrest across the country.
So, too, our family has experienced this first-hand, as my wife’s father, Dan Ballou, was a police officer and as a young child, Karen lived with the constant thought in the back of her head each time he left, not knowing if he would safely return. There is an extraordinary burden we place on families as well as the officers themselves.
While there are a number of interesting ideas for improvement that have percolated around the nation, let’s come together in a positive way to recognize and appreciate the difficult job that our law enforcement officers sign up for and consistently do on a daily basis. Working long, hard hours, protecting us, keeping law and order and so much more. Literally putting their lives on the line for our safety.
So, today, when we hear the shrill voices from the Left make their demands to ‘Defund the Police,’ let’s instead, be smart. Let’s do our very best to give our local police the tools and support they need to do their job in the best possible manner. Let’s give them the respect that they deserve, such that the very best and brightest of our young people will see a career in law enforcement as a noble course worth pursuing. And, let’s give ‘thanks’ right now to those who put on the badge, each and every day, supporting law enforcement the ‘New Hampshire Way!’