Pierce Co. Sheriff: 'We can't police out of fear'

Pierce Co. Sheriff: 'We can't police out of fear'

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor sat down with KIRO 7 to talk about the recent killings of police officers in Dallas.
 
"It's been a troubling week and the troubling week has to do with an issue of America's unresolved racial divide. Let's be frank about this, we are not a post-racial society," saidPastor. 
 
Pastor said the killing of police officers in Dallas brought back terrible memories for his deputies. Four Lakewood police officers were killed in 2009. 
 
"We can't police out of fear and we're not going to do that and we need to tell the community we're not going to do that. We're going to keep suiting up, stepping forward and doing our jobs to the best of our abilities," promised Pastor.
 
Pastor says the key is trust and it is a two-way street.
 
"We have to enhance trust. The police must gain the trust of the community. I'm going to throw a slight curve at that, I also believe that strongly, but I also believe the community needs to earn our trust. The community needs to work with us."
 
KIRO-7 asked if the presence of cellphone cameras influences police interactions. "One thing I don't think people looked into enough is I think sometimes people are playing to cameras as well," said Pastor.
 
Pierce County is taking a year to study the use of body cameras.  Pastor thinks they're a good idea but wants to use them properly.  He thinks body cameras could eventually increase the civility of interactions.
 
"It will probably affect our behavior, knowing that you have a camera on, maybe you're going to be a little more polite," said Pastor. "I think it will eventually make the public more civil and polite as well."