Trained psychologists and mediators should respond to complaints now handled by police

To the Editor:

My family and I participated in the march in Rensselaerville on Sunday, June 14, and was impressed by not only the large number of people who participated but the overwhelming sentiment of the demonstrators in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Without exception, all in attendance were extremely considerate while taking part by wearing masks in deference to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All were in agreement that the laws of our society have been slanted to insure that minorities are treated as second-class citizens. This is an issue, it would appear by the turnout, whose time has come.

It is painfully clear as well, that the police, as well-meaning as they are, have been overburdened by the necessity of responding to complaints that would most effectively be addressed by better trained psychologists and mediators. Issues of substance abuse as well as minor traffic infractions would be better dealt with by unarmed personnel. If we continue to train our police officers as if every confrontation is an issue of life and death no matter how minor they will continue to deal with these issues with force.

It is time to structure and train our law enforcement to respond in a more measured and reasonable manner. The freedom to demonstrate peacefully is every American’s right as stated in the Constitution of the United States. Demonstrating and voting are how we, the people, are heard.

Douglas Story


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