January 9, 2020 was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Thanks to our School Security Coordinator, Don Ellison, for connecting us with retired local, law enforcement officer, George Cahill. Mr. Cahill also works for the Ewing High School district, and agreed to speak with our students in observance of the day. Our goal was to host a discussion about bridging the relationship gap between law enforcement and community members. His presentation was both insightful and impactful. The students asked many questions and were attentive and engaged. Everyone took the presentation seriously and the goal set forth was accomplished. Mr. Cahill emphasized that at the end of the day, "We are all human and have feelings and fears". He offered the following suggestions to help bridge the relationship gap: First, understanding that people in law enforcement are human like the rest of us, and share the same raw emotions we feel. For example, just as community members may feel apprehensive during contact with law enforcement, law enforcement may also be feeling similarly during that same interaction. As Mr. Cahill stated, "At the end of the day, we want to go home to our families". Second, most law enforcement members are only doing their job. They have rules and regulations they must follow like any other job. Cooperation and compliance can assist in ensuring the interaction goes smoothly. He emphasized that just like in any field, there are individuals who interact and behave either positively or negatively in association with others. He encouraged students to not assume that all law enforcement is out to get them. Lastly, but certainly the most important is communication. He stressed the importance of communicating with and getting to know one another to form opinions instead of stereotyping and making assumptions.
From ASYSST to Law Enforcement near and far, we APPRECIATE you and THANK you for all you have done and are doing.
** This post was written by Shakita Johnson and is being submitted by Gregory Smith.
Author: Shakita Johnson