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IN RESPONSE: More to the Henderson police than a few bad apples

Ninety-nine point nine percent of law enforcement officers wake up every day wanting to make a difference and to protect their community. Unfortunately, there are and will always be the tiny percentage who make mistakes or do not belong in the profession.

I write in response to the April 25 articles written by the Review-Journal’s Arthur Kane about a very small percentage of officers based on internal affairs investigations.

I have been a Henderson police officer and a member of the Henderson Police Officers Association for almost 23 years, and I have been investigated as well. It is part of the job. It is rare for any U.S. law enforcement officer to not have been through some type of internal affairs investigation.

The Henderson Police Department does have high standards, and that includes the disciplinary process. In every organization there will be mistakes made by employees. We are, after all, human beings. But the department holds us to high standards, which is shown through by the hard work of all Henderson police officers. The majority of us adhere to the expectations set by the Henderson Police Department. The sins of the few do not define the many. The nobility of our profession, and the selfless dedication of the professionals within, have always risen above the dishonest, despicable and malicious few who want to see us fail.

Mr. Kane never mentions a positive light about the Henderson police in the great city of Henderson. I have lived in the Las Vegas area since 1996, and I read the Review Journal. I rarely see positive articles about policing as a cover story or investigative piece. Does Mr. Kane know that many Henderson police officers give their time and money to a host of charitable organizations each year in our community? Did he know that, each year during Christmas, the Henderson Police Officers Association partners with Target and has a shop with a cop event that provides children with Christmas gifts?

Did Mr. Kane know that each year Henderson police officers volunteer for a program called Rebuild Together Southern Nevada, in which homes are refurbished to help those in need? A few weeks ago, 35 members of the Henderson Police Officers Association, their family members and Explorers got together and did some amazing work refurbishing and beautifying the home and property of an amazing and deserving Henderson citizen.

I realize that negative news about policing is popular now with the small percentage of those on social media who have the loudest voice. But how about giving us a mulligan once in a while and doing a positive story on policing that shows we are not all racist, corrupt, immoral, and evil. If you do not think it would generate a good response for the Review-Journal, think again. Most of the great citizens of Henderson support us and know the false stereotypes that are being portrayed today against many police officers.

We do not ask for praise and vindication. All we want is to be respected and not vilified. We have enough stress in our jobs. We see the worst of people at their worst moments. We see babies who have drowned in pools. We see suicides by kids who do not even have their driver’s license yet. We see fatal accidents and incidents in which families have been torn apart. And sometimes it all falls on us. So I ask that Mr. Kane and the Review-Journal occasionally do an investigative story about some of the good we do that the silent majority of your readers would appreciate.

Mike Dye is secretary of the Henderson Police Officers Association.

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