Good policing is more than just enforcing laws: it’s about having empathy; listening to people’s concerns with humility; connecting and not separating; relating and not alienating; seeing the shared humanity that bridges us; learning lessons from the past; and more importantly, finding creative solutions to policing problems.
Officer Omar Salem, police sergeant and SWAT team leader of the City of Napa Police, says in this video, “We couldn’t arrest our way out of the problem; something had to change.” And positive change became his mission. Officer Salem worked with members of the Napa Valley School District to create a program to identify high-risk students to help lift their self-esteem and develop their leadership qualities. In these tumultuous times, America needs such efforts more than ever.
The son of immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, Officer Salem is a great testimony to the highest ideals that Americans aspire to, despite this imperfect union. There’s a lot of work to be done to help move this nation to a more perfect union. With Officer Salem and others like him, let’s get to work.