Compassionate Policing; A Tribute to Deputy Parrish

 Photo Credit: Douglas County Sherriff's Office

Photo Credit: Douglas County Sherriff's Office

Watch this short news clip:

I think this is an incredible example of how our words and actions matter. We can do our job with compassion. We can make an arrest and tell the arrestee that “good people make mistakes.” Not only does this mindset shift our relationships with the people we serve, but it’s also an act of self-preservation in our job that often seems filled with negativity and despair. Change the lens through which you see your calls for service; have compassion, be curious. We can make a difference everyday when our actions are rooted in this intention!

Deputy Parrish’s last words to the man were, “let me help you, please” before he was shot. Folks who knew Deputy Parrish say that this is the type of Officer he was; kind, compassionate, helpful, empathetic. His indelible impact on his community is shown through the comments of his brother and sister Officers, community members, and even those who he arrested.

Some may argue that it’s impossible to be tactically sound AND compassionate. This is a delicate balance that is learned through training and practice, and certainly takes different shape depending on the situation. This is adaptability. 

Many times, our words and actions can influence the outcome of a person’s life, whether immediately or in the future. And sometimes, it’s not enough. This is the nature of human behavior. This is the danger of our job sometimes. 

Train. Have compassion. Take care of yourself. See that the good exists with the bad, and know that “hope is a choice that triggers strength, determination, and persistence in the face of adversity" (said by Kathryn Britton).

The values by which we are to survive are not rules for just and unjust conduct, but are those deeper illuminations in whose light justice and injustice, good and evil, means and ends are seen in fearful sharpness of outline.
— Jacob Bronowski

Thank you for your service, Deputy Parrish. You will not be forgotten.