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Some jobs go unfilled amid scrutiny

Saw an item on the television news that reported the law enforcement community is having problems recruiting cadets for the police academy. Thinking about the problem it isn’t that surprising. In recent years the men and women in blue have come under intense scrutiny and criticism, much of it unjustified.

Police officers are constantly called on to make split-second judgment calls regarding the level of danger to themselves and any bystanders.

When interacting with a potential suspect they know the encounter can turn violent, even deadly, based on the actions of the suspect. Is the person the officer pulls over at the traffic stop for erratic driving distracted or intoxicated? Is their behavior alcohol- or drug-fueled?

When a driver reaches into their glove compartment for the car’s registration and proof of insurance, will they surrender paper documents or come back with a firearm blasting away.

The videos released in many of these cases often show the accused exhibiting disrespect to the officers. Getting stopped by the police is an upsetting occurrence. However displaying an angry attitude is never in one’s best interest. A sudden movement such as reaching into a pocket or the waistband of the trousers is a really great way to get shot. Keep your hands in plain sight and immediately comply with any requests the officer makes.

How many times have we seen grieving mothers on the television after a fatal shootout with police? “He was a good boy, he just made some mistakes,” she says. Gee ya’ think?

All the protests and rioting since The Donald became POTUS has been intense. The Bill of Rights guarantees the right to free assembly. It does not however excuse the people shutting down roadways, thereby infringing on the rights of others.

The National Guard members called on to provide crowd control aren’t authorized to use deadly force. They are required to play by a set of rules much of the public ignores. People who benefit from wrongful-death suits are awarded huge sums of money based on things such potential lifetime earnings and the intangible loss of companionship.

Never mind that the person who lost their life might have never held a steady job or even furnished said companionship to the people benefiting.

We expect too much of law enforcement. It takes a person with a strong personality and extreme bravery to become a police officer. All the bad stuff they put up with and the danger they face, for a job that starts at $864.47 per week according to the City of Madera human resources web page. How many people would still do their jobs if there was the constant possibility of injury or getting killed, for $900 a week?

It isn’t just the police academy that has vacancies on its roster. The construction industry is also having trouble filling the openings it has. There are a great many construction jobs nationwide that are available.

“Eight years after the housing bust drove an estimated 30 percent of construction workers into new fields, home builders across the country are struggling to find workers at all levels of experience,” according to the National Association of Homebuilders. The association estimates that there are approximately 200,000 unfilled construction jobs in the U.S. — a jump of 81 percent in the last two years, according to Reuters news service.

It seems young people entering the workforce have an aversion to physical labor. Many school districts are doing a great disservice to their students. Vocational and technical training should be emphasized and funded along with history, math and science.

Madera Unified and Madera County Office of Education provide Madera’s sons and daughters with opportunities in their voc-tech classes that big city schools don’t provide. Our rural setting allows practical application for those learning the ag sciences, engineering and mechanical training. Groups like 4-H and FFA augment this knowledge with programs outside school hours that engage young people to pursue constructive activities.

Sayings such as “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” are especially true when the hands are attached to the arms of hormonal teenage boys and girls.

Learning to raise livestock, judging cattle, pruning vines, sewing and cooking classes will benefit the students long after they graduate. Can the same be said of algebra or trigonometry?

Have a great weekend.

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