To the Editor:

What are you thinking when your job requires you to tackle a naked man of questionable mindset whoís running down Route 1 in York in December? I donít know, but I know somebody who does.

Being a law enforcement officer is a tough job thatís getting tougher. Most cops are great individuals who choose that career because they want to serve and help people. Unfortunately, the few bad cops tend to get more attention than the good ones, and the resulting backlash from the increased negative attention makes all their jobs more difficult.

Fewer candidates are choosing the field of law enforcement; other careers simply appear more lucrative, less stressful, and less dangerous. Around 150 officers a year die in the line of duty (see Officer Down Memorial Page), while even more die annually, around 160, by suicide (see

Police officers see things that nobody should have to witness, yet are slow to admit emotional injury due to the stigma associated with mental health issues. They need to always appear to be at their best while dealing with you and I at our worst.

Wednesday, Jan. 9 is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. We are truly fortunate in the town of York to be represented by a professionally led, compassionate police department. I am proud to call Chief Bracy and many of the officers my friends. On Wednesday or any day, donít be afraid to shake an officerís hand and thank them for doing a very tough job. Buy them a cup of coffee, a bagel, or even a donut; most arenít afraid to laugh at the stereotype. If theyíre off duty maybe offer to buy them a beer.

At the end of the day, police officers are just like you and I. They just want to go home to their families at the end of the day.

Charlie Black II