12/13/14 (not published)

Washington Post
Washington, D.C.

Dear Editor:

The government wants to outlaw police profiling. Actually, profiling is a useful and normal part of our everyday life. Suppose you are walking alone down a dark, lonely street. Which would you rather have following you: 1. A group of 12 mixed age and sex adults, well dressed, talking and laughing or 2. 4 men, 18-25 years old, silent, casually dressed mostly in black with eyes focused on you? You would use profiling to answer this question.

Police resources are in short supply and police need to use every tool and skill they have to stay safe and accomplish their mission. While we may infrequently experience the dangerous situation outlined above once in 2-5 years, they experience it frequently. What we expect is for the police to be fair and professional, not prejudiced, trying to "frame" somebody, "collar" innocents, use excessive force, or other violations of their rules and training. If violations occur by a rare rough cop, they deserve severe punishment for breaking our trust.

Sincerely yours,

Jan Polissar