To the editor:
It looks like Mary Krieger “got it” before Police Chief Khatib did. Krieger, a student at West Middle School, proposed that teachers at the school distribute gift certificates to students caught doing good (Journal-World, July 4). As a result, the atmosphere at the school improved. Khatib says his goal is to provide “non-confrontational interactions between officers and those they serve.”
I’ve always been puzzled by the passage in Romans 13:3: “Do what is right and you will be commended.” I know there’s an insurance company that, near Labor Day, gives money to random drivers they catch doing the right thing, but when is the last time the Lawrence Police Department commended someone for making their job easier? I believe it’s true that you see what you look for, and police have been trained to look for potential problems and respond to those which are identified to them.
How about a glance (and nod) to what’s right, now and then? Gift certificates, citations, or even publishing a list of names and why they’re being commended might encourage a more civil city. I guess being “good for nothing” is fine, but it might have a ripple effect if there were some recognition attached to it, as it has at West Middle School.