TRAFFICKING: Give police their due

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Sunday’s article on the new Human Trafficking law is a great opportunity for raising awareness of the dangers to young women in Idaho — and I’m glad for it.

However, Jennifer Zielinski, the executive director of the Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition, needs to be corrected on the quality of our area’s law enforcement. She states insultingly on our front page that Idaho has the new trafficking law “but the cop is still focused on drugs, not on the two young girls in the back seat.”

I’m not a member of law enforcement but have deep admiration for what these men and women do every single day to help keep us safe here in North Idaho. So, the implication that any North Idaho law enforcement officer would ignore a living, breathing human in a vehicle they’re investigating to focus on an inanimate object is deeply insulting and so patently and demonstrably wrong that I think her call for training is a great one.

Yes, she should go on a ride-along with a few of our finest so that she’s “trained” in what really happens in the real world so she understands how noble, competent and compassionate our police officers are in the conduct of their sworn duties and the interactions they have with the citizens they serve.

Jennifer, if an officer pulls over a vehicle, their training and situational awareness will cause them to have an interaction with every single occupant. Name, where are you going, how do you all know each other, can I see some ID, are you carrying anything illegal? That’s good policing, good conduct, effective law enforcement and a reflection of the concern of our well-trained officers for the well-being of all concerned.

And while I’m at it, your choice of the word “cop” is in the middle of the spectrum of words to describe a law enforcement officer. In your profession and in your public speaking, I highly suggest “officer” might be a better reflection of the highly trained career law enforcement officers who are out on the street 24/7 protecting us. If that’s a bridge too far for you, then perhaps your use of that word explains your poor understanding of our community’s finest.

DOUG MILLER

Hayden

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