As violence rises, so must our support

In New Hampshire, we pride ourselves on having one of the most effective and professional law enforcement communi­ties in the country. Our officers are on the front lines in our cities and towns every day, working hard to keep us safe. But, as we bear witness to the horrific attacks against police in cities like Dallas and Baton Rouge, we’re reminded of the dangers these brave men and women face. Even in communities that have favorable relations with law enforcement, anti-police rhetoric driven by national attitudes has put many officers in an un­justly difficult position, allowing them to be painted with a broad brush.

Here at home, we lean heavily on our state’s officers to stand on the front lines of our most complex and danger­ous issues. We have forced police, with sometimes inadequate resources, to lead the charge against a crippling opioid epi­demic and to protect us from the rising crime that that crisis has created. That’s unacceptable.

The challenges of a crisis need to be ad­dressed by the collective — by all stake­holders. We cannot force police to carry such heavy burdens while petty argu­ments are debated in the political arena.

Together, we need to be proactive in our support for law enforcement. Let’s set aside politics and provide law enforce­ment officers the tools and resources they need to prepare and react to dan­gerous situations.

Programs like Operation Granite Ham­mer, passed recently by the New Hamp­shire legislature, embody this bipartisan, police-first spirit. But, while this program is a terrific start, we have much more work to do.

We must work together to foster an en­vironment of respect and understanding in our communities. It is important that we remind police officers that we have their backs, as they have ours.

Expressing this deep gratitude can be effortless. Simply saying thank you to an officer passing on the street, or waiting in line at the local store can have a remark­able impact, reassuring law enforcement that we appreciate their hard work and know they are risking their lives for com­munities they, too, are a part of.

In this increasingly dangerous world, our support for law enforcement has never been more important. We must not allow outside influences to erode that support and undermine the honorable work of police officers.

Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, is an executive councilor and Republican candidate for governor.

Categories: Opinion