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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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The roots of ‘Good Blue & You’

“Good Blue & You” interviews began in June of 2014. I created the column because of a breakdown in community and police relations.

Brought to a roundtable discussion by Melissa Monie, formerly of The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, I expressed to her that people simply do not know the police anymore. The days of “Officer Friendly” appeared long gone or few and far in between. I also relayed to her – and the roughly 30 to 40 officers that were present – that the community does not trust you and they do not want to get to know you through another officer because they don’t trust them either.

Quickly, I set out to gain the trust of the heads of the three major local bureaus and achieved access to their officers for interviews. To my surprise, yet in accordance with true leaders, they each wanted to be first. I did right by them and each of their deputy directors and now to over 50 different officers over the last 4 years.

Detectives and officers working in the bomb squad, reserves, sexual assault units, school officers, canine units, SWAT and more have been some of the most extraordinary interviews I have ever conducted. For me to have run afoul of the law in my early years, their interviews have indeed left a positive impression on me.

Number one, I see them as “blue” and not as members of the various ethnic groups. Number two, I see them as the largest group of people in America who are trying to keep the peace. Basic math leads me to believe that the average officer who stays with a law enforcement agency for at least five years has done more good in those five years than many people do in a full life time.

Through Good Blue & You, I have endeavored to convey what the featured officers think, do and feel while on and off the clock. Feedback tells me that readers are often left smiling and deep in thought as they see a reflection of themselves in the officers. We grow from there, period.


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