Police work to regain trust after negative publicity - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Police work to regain trust after negative publicity

Photos courtesy of Mount Vernon PD Facebook page. Photos courtesy of Mount Vernon PD Facebook page.
(Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook) (Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook)
(Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook) (Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook)
(Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook) (Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook)
(Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook) (Source: Mt. Vernon PD/Facebook)
MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) -

In the last 10 days of July, a U.S. police officer was killed in the line of duty once every 60 hours.

That’s according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s website.

Mt Vernon Police Chief Chris Deichman said he believes the problem starts with how much a community trusts their police force.

“Perception is reality.” Deichman said. “I myself have lost friends in line-of-duty deaths, and it’s tragic. It really is.”

Deichman said he believes the problem of basic mistrust starts at a very young age.

“So many times unfortunately in law enforcement, the kids see the police when mom and dad are fighting,” Deichman said, “or when their brother gets stopped for speeding on Broadway and things like that, and it’s not always a positive experience.”

Residents say the negative publicity many departments and officers have received in recent years, has affected the general public’s respect for a typical police officer.

“One bad instance happens, and people blow it out of proportion,” explained Jefferson Co. resident Derrek Wilson. “I think people have a bad perception of police officers, and I don’t know that it’s always justified.”

To combat the issue, the Mt. Vernon Police Department increased their number of community outreach programs available.

Chief Deichman said they recently handed out gift cards for free ice cream cones to more than 500 kids.

“It’s a tough time for law enforcement right now,” Deichman explained. “If we can make a positive impact on these kids, then maybe we can turn the tides a little bit.”

“In the end, they have a hard job,” Wilson said on Thursday. “People should take that into consideration whenever they judge them.”

So far in 2015, 85 U.S. police officers were killed on the job, which is up 15 percent from 2014.

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