Situation made worse

Published 2:48 pm Friday, April 23, 2010

When situations arise and law enforcement has to get involved, we expect them to perform their jobs with the highest amount of integrity and professionalism. Sometimes, what we expect is far from what we experience.

Case in point: Recently a very unfortunate event occurred in my life, and I had a very disheartening encounter with one of our local policeman that has prompted me write this letter.

Before I elaborate, I must clarify that I am by no means attempting to minimize nor excuse an infraction of the law. It is my intent to highlight the rude and callous behavior of the police officer involved. My 17-year-old daughter was recently arrested for driving without a license. The day before she was scheduled to obtain her permanent license, she drove my car across the parking lot at the mall and accidentally backed into another vehicle causing minimal damage, very minimal.

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In the eyes of the State of Georgia, she may be an adult, but from my perspective, she is a child. I honestly was unaware that a 17-year-old is considered an adult so, naturally, I asked the officer if I needed to be present during her questioning.

His response was, “I don’t care if you do or if you don’t.” I was taken aback by that response, his tone and demeanor. You would think a trained professional would use a little more professionalism and tact to avoid a negative confrontation. I was incensed prompting an unpleasant exchange between the two of us. To add insult to injury, he threatened to arrest me for questioning him about my child. The situation was so overwrought, the assisting officer, using his professional diplomacy, volunteered his assistance with completing the process and transporting her.

This brings me to the actual arrest. Because the damage to the other vehicle was minimal, the owner contacted her insurance company to see whether arrangements could be made to take care of the damage minus an arrest. The officer insisted that my daughter was going to be arrested and taken to jail if it was the last thing he did in life.

Everyone was appalled at his insistence. I am not suggesting that my child should have been given a slap on the wrist and sent home. It just seems like the situation could have been handled differently especially considering the other party was not pushing for her arrest.

That was a bad day. My child clearly broke the law by driving with no license, and it was a very enlightening experience for her that will hopefully cause her to consider the consequences of her decisions.

Officer Greg Brown, you did your job but at the same time, you did an injustice to your superiors and your peers by acting like such an idiot!

Deloris MillerBainbridge, Ga.