EDITORIAL — In solidarity with the police who serve our local communities

This is a tough time for law enforcement. Just a few weeks ago, people throughout the country were sending lunches, donuts (seriously) and other kinds of food and meals and posters to police who, so often, have been putting their lives on the line during a global pandemic.

The photos can be seen on a plethora of social media pages of the department that serve our readership.

Suddenly, however, those instances of good will and good cheer have come to a screeching halt. In fact, a source told us one man who donated masks to an area department a few weeks ago actually asked for them back and said he regretted giving them to police. How quickly things change.

We understand the absolute outrage caused by the death of George Floyd under the knee of a former Minneapolis police officer — and we condemn systematic racism and any police officer who would ever do what the man did to George Floyd. Effectively, he caused us all to witness an execution in our living rooms.

But with that said, we continue to stand with the women and men of the police departments that serve us.

Indeed, the action of four police officers in Minneapolis serves as a reminder of how bad things are in so many police departments across the country. But we see, almost daily, how our local departments act, how they serve, how they put their lives on the line every single second of every single day.

We see it when officers in Kearny go to senior centers several times a year to serve a catered lunch. We see it when North Arlington officers offer escorts to those entering Holy Cross Cemetery. We see it when Harrison officers dance with the elderly at the senior center. We see it when East Newark officers help to get food to those who can’t otherwise afford it.

We see it in the actions of Lyndhurst officers that led to the arrest and takedown of a man accused of attempted murder in Virginia. We see it when officers are on hand for a flag-raising ceremony in Belleville. We see it when officers in Nutley do their part to keep the peace after teens used incendiary language on social media.

We could go on here. Because fortunately, our departments are led and served by people who care — and who would never tolerate what happened in Minneapolis or any number of cities.

So today, we do stand with those who are angry over the death of Mr. Floyd. We are, too. But it is, indeed, possible to be angry while knowing at the same time, we are blessed to have police whose mission is always to help, never to hurt.

We pray this never, ever changes.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.