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I guess cops are people too

August 22, 2002

which gang and he knows who's in jail, who's been to jail and who

just got out.

Even though there have been three murders in the past few months

in the Oakview neighborhood, it's obvious to anyone who watches

Preece work that he's doing his job. He cares about the residents and

wants to make it a safe place for them to live.

Although most Oakview residents have probably never told him that

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they appreciate his hard work, they do. The smiling children who wave

at him as he drives by are a clear indication of that.

While I knew a little bit about what daily police work is like, my

ride-along with Preece taught me so much more. It gave me an insight

into the way that police officers build relationships with city

residents. It reminded me of the fact that they do more than just

write traffic and parking tickets.

It let me know that there are people out there who are working

hard everyday to make cities safer. Police officers don't have an

easy job and that's something that we should all think about the next

time we complain about cops.

* JOSE PAUL CORONA covers City Hall and education. He can be

reached at (714) 965-7173 or by e-mail at jose.corona@latimes.com.

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