Local News

Recent Arrests have Public Questioning Who to Trust

Posted May 28, 1998

— Parents trust educators with their children. The public turns to the police for help. In recent days, we've heard far too many stories in which that trust was violated.

How does the public feel when abuses in the system melt the public trust? Theresia Brinkley of Knightdale warns her children to trust authority, but she worries which institutions will fail her next."You don't know if the teachers are going to molest them. It's really sad, with all the things going on with the world today, we really don't have anyone to trust anymore."

North Carolina headlines frighten her -- teachers and teacher assistants accused of taking liberties when schools should be safe. Police and deputies accused of wrongdoing -- when they are supposed to do right.

That leaves some people, like Garner resident Rebecca Mimms, perplexed."I'm not saying they're all bad. There are real good ones out here. It's hard to tell when you're going to get a good one or a bad one."If public trust is dissolving, it's not just from people looking at our institutions. John Midgette, director of the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association says, within these institutions, trust is dissolving too."The biggest concern seems to be the lack of pay and respect within their own administration, as a result of that, the good people are leaving."Midgette says the public does need to be concerned if pay issues drive qualified officers, deputies, and teachers away from the state. Demanding a qualified workforce in positions of trust is the taxpayers job. He says ignoring that factor could cost us all.

Both the PBA and theDepartment of Public Instructionremind us most teachers and law enforcement officers provide safe, ethical service.

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