The April 17 letter concerning respect for police officers (Reader’s View: “Respect law enforcement to avoid trouble”) reminded me of a picture I once saw of the head of a police union: A large, angry, red-faced man was waving his badge and demanding respect in the image.

The problem is, men like him may get people to fear them, but they will never be respected.

I have known several police officers who were respected. They were respected because they treated every human being with respect, even when those people were not on their best behavior. If they had to resort to force, it was the minimum required to keep the peace.

Respect is not something you can demand; respect is earned.

Kenneth L. Johnson

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