Let’s be helpful out there

Too often, encounters between police officers and citizens turns tragic. Monday brought news of two more such incidents.

As of this writing, a search was under way in Florida for a man accused of fatally shooting an Orlando police officer Monday. Also that day, a Norfolk police officer was injured when a man threw a caustic substance in the officer’s face.

It should be noted that thousands of times each day, law enforcement officers carrying out their duties have peaceful encounters with everyday people. In fact, most people can go about their everyday activities peaceably because of the work of such officers.

Ordinarily, that just doesn’t make the news. Every once in a while, though, we get reminders that tragic outcomes are the rare exception, and not the norm.

Such an example crossed the news wire Monday concerning a Cincinnati police officer providing a lost motorist with a GPS navigation device. According to WXIX-TV, Shirley McKeown, who was driving from Lynn, Indiana, to Venus, Florida, to spend Christmas with family members when she asked Officer Virginia Villing for help.

The officer gave the GPS system to the driver, who still had 1,000 miles to go. Last week, the motorist mailed the GPS unit to the officer along with a thank-you note.

Remember, life is a journey, one best traveled together. Sometimes we just need help finding our way. Keep that in mind the next time someone tries to tell you where to go — or vice versa.

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