Why I Changed My Mind About the Police

LA School Police is just one of many law enforcement agencies patrolling South Central

LA School Police is just one of many law enforcement agencies patrolling South Central

Jasmine Aleriano, Criminal Justice Editor

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Growing up in South Central, I viewed the police and other authorities as a threat.

Authorities separated me from my family and I grew up in foster care.

My perspective about the police, however, changed 360 degrees when I was asked to interview a few law enforcement officers for my journalism class.

The assignment was: Do the police help or hurt the community?

I personally wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate and was very afraid of speaking to a police officer.

But then I met Officer Stephanie Juarez. She patrols the park around Maya Angelou.

She told me that she, too, also saw her mother being arrested.

She reminded me that the police don’t arrest people for nothing.

And she told me that when she made the decision to stay away from gang life and go into policing, she was very happy.

“I saw the two sides,” she said. “I chose to go into law enforcement to help the community and keep people safe.”

“I love my job.”

Officer Juarez showed me that police are compassionate and caring.

And she got me thinking about who the good people really are.