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With most of the local media fully invested in aiding and abetting Democrat attempts to demonize the police and divide Americans, it would be instructive for Jacksonville residents to take ride-alongs with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

I’ve ridden with the police and been to many crime scenes. In addition, long after I was a police reporter I went on a ride with the police in the ‘90s at the request of an old friend, the late Charlie Barco.

I’ll spoil the plot by saying that at no time did I see any officer exercise brutality or treat anyone unfairly.

We left police headquarters and headed toward a high crime area. In less than 10 minutes we rolled up on a drug transaction in plain view, somewhere around 10th Street and Myrtle Avenue.

The participants ran. The two officers in the car with me ran, so I did, too.

I was aware that when running through yards at night, it is important to watch for clotheslines, and I did. Otherwise, I was focused on trying to keep up with the much-younger officers.

At one point, a woman stepped out on her back steps and yelled, “He went that way, police. Go get him!”

Good people don’t want drug dealers in their neighborhoods.

One of the officers with us had been shot point-blank twice in the chest while arresting a drug dealer a few weeks earlier. He was saved by his vest, which no one wore when I was covering the police.

Anyway, they caught the guy and sent him to the jail in a patrol car. We resumed the hunt. But, that night, nothing much more happened. There were some other interactions with citizens but nothing more than conversations as the officers tried to learn who was in the area and what criminal activity might be occurring.

The officers were polite and respectful and the citizens were not angry and defiant as so many are now.

Since the Obama administration, the Democrat Party has focused on race, making it the center of everything. At the same time, they have sided with those who always blame the police when criminals are killed, even before the facts are known and sometimes afterward when it clearly is unwarranted.

They have persuaded many uninformed people that the police are their enemies and as a result more people refuse to cooperate with the police these days. Too often, that ends tragically.

Almost daily, local media aid this effort. In a recent story, one TV station quoted an agitator who possibly was in need of psychiatric care as saying she feared for her safety whenever she saw the police.

Readers and viewers should understand that, in the vast majority of cases, the criminal would not have been injured or killed if he did not resist arrest. That certainly was true in the current cause celebre involving a felon named George Floyd.

Currently, the sheriff’s office is not conducting ride-alongs because of the Red Chinese virus.

But when it is possible, riding with the police might help people confused by propaganda to better understand how the police work and why they do what they do.

Lives are at stake. Police officers and yours.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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