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Howard (Sarge) Thiele

Brevard, NC

'One Bad Apple'

July 18, 2016 | Vol. 130 – No. 57

Years ago a hit song that went something like, “One bad apple, don’t spoil the whole bunch girl.”

It seems that many Americans don’t see the events of the last few years that way. Citizens are concerned that law enforcement is their enemy when nothing could be further from the true facts.

When a man or woman choose the law enforcement field, they do so being fully aware that they could someday be in harm’s way. The oath they take is very similar to the oath our military take prior to putting on a uniform. The similarities don’t stop there. A law enforcement officer can eat breakfast, see their children off to school, kiss their spouse, get into a patrol car and lose their life in service to their community that day.

Are there sub-par officers on the street? Sure! There are also airline pilots, doctors, lawyers and auto mechanics that are less than perfect. They are all human and subject to make a poor decision at some point in their lives.

As in the recent attack on law enforcement in Dallas, Texas may show, it is quite probable that no “dirty cops” were killed or wounded. It is very frustrating to know that a U.S. Army combat veteran, sworn to protect and defend the citizens of our great nation and the Constitution of the United States of America, would commit such a heinous act.

But, there we go again with the “One Bad Apple Syndrome.” It has been shown time and again throughout our history that the smallest percentage possible of our nation’s citizenry can, and will, do bad things.

The absolute majority of all law enforcement personnel I have ever met or done business with have been consummate professionals. This is especially true in respect to the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Department and the Brevard Police Department. Those agencies are led by Sheriff David Mahoney and Chief of Police Phil Harris. They lead by example and are true professionals that are great teachers, mentors and compassionate men.

Any bad apples? Not in these two departments.

Howard “Sarge” Thiele