This nice note came across my twitter feed last night and as a harsh critic of police tactics, I think it's important to make sure the other side gets out there too:
El Dorado Police Department Lieutenant Tim Baker and Sergeant Larry Arnold responded to a disturbance call. The homeless man was combative toward the officers, even throwing his bicycle. The man has a volatile history and his behavior could have escalated and caused injury to the officers or himself.
Instead, Sgt Arnold patiently calmed him down and Lt Baker helped him reattach his bicycle tire.
Patrol Officer Mike Holton brought the man lunch, spent hours finding him a bed in a shelter in Wichita and then drove the man to the shelter.
None of these officers would have expected anyone to notice or thank them, but a citizen just happened to look out their window, see the interaction and snap these pictures.
I see this sort of thing frequently here in Santa Monica where the local police are often called upon to deal with a large homeless population. They are unfailingly polite and patient. (LAPD, not so much --- it must be a cultural thing.) The best cops are those who not only project authority but also have an understanding of psychology and a healthy dose of patience and empathy. It's not the job of a soldier. It's something more.
Update: and I can't let this post go by without showing this youtube again. It makes me laugh out loud every time I see it: