Assets In Action: Honor peace officers this week

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

This week, we look at neighborhood boundaries, which is when neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
As summer is at hand, this is the time for building the relationships with local youth in your neighborhood.
If your interactions are positive now, the result could be great, in the event that summer fun becomes something less fortunate.
Try and follow this train of thought when it comes to relationships with youth. The positive experiences you have are like putting money into a savings account. Those interactions build over time and then when something takes place, especially something unexpected and you have to make a withdraw. Hopefully you aren’t left with zero.
In a perfect world, your interactions with everyone would be handled the same way.
Think of how life would be if you always did your best, gave people the benefit of the doubt and called out bad behavior.
If a situation becomes more than you can handle, sometimes you might need to call in the professionals.
National Peace Officer’s week is May 11-17, with a special day on May 15 to take a moment to recognize the peace officers in our community.
I find it ironic that we have gone from a time where you always respected the badge to one of always challenging the badge.
If I haven’t told you this before, I really enjoyed the DARE program when it was in the schools. I won’t go into all of the details about if the program, but instead focus on the relationship aspect.
In 1994, I worked as the news director for KRSN and covered a story about Officer Ken Maes of the Los Alamos Police Department.
Officer Maes could be seen as the DARE officer at the elementary level. This big burly guy surrounded by little cherubs was afforded the officer rock star status, just by being in the building.
Some elementary schools still utilize the officers to train students as crossing guards. Those students learn the rules of the road and can be seen volunteering before school and after school, to make their little corner of the world a better place.
It sounds simple, but it was the lower level interactions that built the relationship for youth to learn to respect the position years before teenagers may cross the path of another officer.
If you know one, I hope you’ll say thank you. If you don’t know one, perhaps send a note of thanks, for helping us live in a town that is pretty darn safe. It may not always be perfect, but it is our little neck of the woods.

Assets In Action is sponsored by the LACDC and the JJAB.