AS A PHILADELPHIA police officer of 11 years, assigned to a public high school for the past five, I can identify with the tactics used by school Officer Robert "Sarge" Samuels.
We are dealing with a different type of youth today, and most of them without the proper guidance from their own parents. It can be very difficult to deal with them without looking at them as you would your own children. And in doing so, you may tend to be as strict with them as you would with your own.
I had the honor of working with Officer Samuels. There were times when my district officers were flooded with priority calls, and Officer Samuels and his colleagues were there supporting me with the very hectic school dismissals.
Had it not been for them, it would've been way harder ifficult for me. I support him and his colleagues for the thankless job they do. They were always professional, and dealt with the students with a strong yet loving hand. Being an officer means you're under a microscope, and nothing you do is good enough. To every officer, stay encouraged, and do what you were called to do, even if it means criticism. The job is hard enough, and if we need to support each other to get through the day, so be it. To Officer Samuels, this too, shall pass.
Holly Weston, Philadelphia