Monday

Police Officer Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse.


Avon Park police Officer James H. Parker has been charged with aggravated child abuse of his girlfriend's 20-month-old daughter. (Full story: http://www2.highlandstoday.com/content/2009/mar/30/301617/ap-officer-charged-aggravated-battery-child/news/)


I have known Parker for over 10 years. I have worked with him and was his field training officer when he first became a police officer.I am devastated by the news of his arrest and of the terrible thing he is alleged to have done. I remember training Parker and thinking he was young, energetic and full of optimism. I don't know what could have gone so terribly wrong with his life that would lead him to do such a evil thing.


On a personal level I want to believe he is innocent and that this is all a terrible misunderstanding. On a professional level I know that the police officers who arrested him believe that there is sufficient evidence to prove he is guilty of the crime. I just cannot wrap my mind around such an incongruous set of circumstances; a friend I want to believe is innocent, a victim I know is innocent and trained detectives I believe are competent.


I am sympathetic to the mother of that innocent child and can understand her pain as I am a father of four myself. My heart goes out to her and I pray that her child will recover fully and that if Parker is guilty of this awful thing that he suffer the full penalty for his crime. There are truly no silver linings in a story such as this.


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