Letters to the Editor

Hypocrisy and heroism in police force

I find the treatment of our heroes hypocritical at best. After a crime is solved or a fire is extinguished, local government officials offer praise through the media. They thank the local hero police officer or EMS workers. It’s great that politicians extend our gratitude post crisis. What upsets me though is the lack of appreciation before an incident occurs.

Every day that an officer dons a bullet proof vest and the tires of his patrol car roll is in itself and act of heroism. I have learned that not all cops should have badges. But officers who genuinely wish to serve the public are heroes 40 hours a week as they risk their lives for people they have never even met. What stuns me like a Taser is that Atlantic Beach Police officers do not have health insurance.

Local government provides the bullet proof vest, but not the health insurance to cover the doctor bill if they actually get shot. I would like to think all officers would have access to health care such as vision exams. If officers are provided bullets and guns to perform job duties then shouldn’t we provide health insurance so we are sure their contacts lenses fit well enough that they shoot the person they are aiming for?

As a registered nurse another thought comes to mind. If an officer has asthma he would need to have regular primary health care to keep the asthma under control with allergy shots, rescue inhalers or possible inhaled corticosteroids. Will the next headline read “suspect in armed robbery outruns police officer having asthma attack”? “Sources reveal officer had no health insurance, inhaler empty.”

I don’t understand why a municipality would provide vests, bullets, guns and Tasers but skip health insurance for full time police officers, but hey it’s Atlantic Beach.

The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.