Police Presence: A Letter to the Editor

Shaun H. Ruff

Dear Editor,

I have noticed that there has been a stepped-up police presence in my neighborhood especially in the evening and nighttime for the past two weeks.  When I stopped a passing patrol car to inquire about the increase in police activity, the officer told me that it was a matter of public safety and I should not worry about it.  An increase in police activity in my neighborhood says to me that there is something wrong that the police are trying to root out and I am concerned that it will bring heightened tensions which will lead to someone getting shot accidentally or otherwise by the police or maybe criminals they are pursuing into my neighborhood [slippery slope].

I have heard that the reason for the increase is that there is either a new hidden criminal enterprise in the neighborhood or someone on the FBI’s most-wanted list is in the area [false dilemma].  I have emailed, called or contacted everyone I can think of in the city government to get an explanation, but all I have been able to find out is that the increase is for “public safety” and that I should not be concerned.  When any government agency tells me that I should not be worried, that is when I become apprehensive. I find myself thinking about the innocent children in the neighborhood who might be curious about the increased patrols and end up becoming the victim of an accidental police shooting for being in the wrong place at the wrong time [appeal to emotion].  I am anxious about this situation, and when I get apprehensive, usually something bad happens, so this stepped-up police activity is bound to lead to an untoward incident occurring in my neighborhood [equivocation].

I am not saying that I am opposed to more security for my neighborhood, I am just worried that our freedom is being curtailed by the fear that increased police presence brings with it [glittering generality].  I am concerned that all this secrecy about the reasons for the stepped-up patrols will bring more negative results than positive. If all of this increased police presence causes the sacrifice of even one life, then the whole objective is for naught [searching for the perfect solution].

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