Lawmakers made tough job for police even tougher

I find it hard to believe that state Sen. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, having been a former sheriff, has forgotten how few people who graduate from the state’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy actually stay employed as a police officer for their entire career (“Fearing crime surge, Snohomish County police focus on patrol,” The Herald, June 12.)

Sure, the academy is teeming with people who aspire to be a police officer, but many will either get washed out of the academy or suffer injuries and be let go by their sponsoring agency. And those who graduate from the academy will have an intensive Field Training period in conjunction with a one year probationary period where they can be fired for any reason management sees fit. Many more will not make it past this training period. And for those that make it through all that, they quickly discover that the public hates them, their elected officials despise them, and due to long hours and dealing with horrific scenes 99 percent of the public couldn’t imagine, their home life suffers as well.

It’s at this point where many more police officers either exit law enforcement, or move to a location outside of the state where they are not considered public enemy No. 1. To get the bigger picture, might I suggest The Herald take a hard look at academy enrollment vs. pre- and post-field training retention rates. And make no mistake, since 2014 virtually every police department, sheriff’s office and even the State Patrol has struggled to find quality candidates. 2020 made a bad situation a million times worse thanks to the knee-jerk reactions of our esteemed elected officials, and our entire county will suffer high crime rates as a direct result.

Chris Stearley


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