YOUR TURN: Police officer Erik Jensen says public is too quick to criticize

This edition of "Your Turn" goes to Memphis Police Officer Erik Jensen.

Jensen objects vigorously to last week's commentary from a woman who said that police were not enforcing all the laws.

Jensen begged to differ and offered as evidence the fact that the city is dealing with millions of dollars in unpaid traffic fines.

Jensen turned the proposition around saying that when police do enforce the traffic laws what they hear back from the people they stop is, "how dare we stop them instead of going after the murderers and rapists in the city?"

And that question is usually followed by this one, "Don't you have anything better to do?"

Jensen made this offer to last week's commentator:  Come join us on the force. He says you'll find low pay, long hours and little respect from the public.

Here's Eric Jensen's full email to us:

As a Memphis Police officer, I would like to respond to Ms. Shaw's comments on the "My turn, Your turn" segment I saw on todays news.  First of all, the police "DO" enforce the laws such as littering, driving with kids bouncing around in the seats of vehicles and running red lights. Ms. Shaw would realize just how much we (police officers) do enforce the laws if she did more than selective news watching and bothered to watch the recent news report on the unpaid traffic tickets that total just over $93 Million Dollars. Which begs to ask...who is enforcing the collection of the citations we don't "ignore".  And while I am sure Ms. Shaw has probably NEVER violated any traffic law or City ordinance herself, I am just a sure she is related to or is friends with a person who has been stopped by the police and pled that "they are good people who pay our (the police's) salary" and "how dare we stop them instead of going after the murders and rapist in the city". These comments are usually followed by the nagging question: "Don't you have anything better to do?!?"     While in fact while we DO have a murder, rape, robbery, and gang problem in the City of Memphis, there is always time to enforce the laws Ms. Shaw has pointed out to us (police)-- the laws we "ignore" --because we as police DO love nothing more than stopping people and telling them how to raise their children and to strap them in. I personally feel it is time for people to take responsibility for their own actions and raise your own children instead of depending of the police to do it for you. 'Police' your own kids and make them buckle up. (and hey, why you are at it-don't stop there: follow that with more home lessons and then maybe there wouldn't be the BIGGER problems in our city today like robbery, rape and murder)  Accountability starts at home for many of the bigger problems in our city, not the police, but you don't see many news stories on that issue.  People find it far more news-worthy to bash and bad mouth or how is put now "tarnish" the officers that are out working hard to protect the city that many of you choose to call home.     Lastly Ms. Shaw, you can pick up an application for the police department at any of the police stations in the city. We would love to have you on our side to show us how it is done.  The pay is minimal, the hours are long, the public doesn't respect you, you can kiss dinners with the family at home good-bye, add worry to list of family's problems--they don't know if you will even come home from a shift when you leave to go to work each day, and did I mention the pay?   Back the Blue,   Erik Jensen

That's Erik Jensen's turn. Now it's your turn.

To comment on this segment or anything else, email or call 800-465-1210.