OUR VIEWS: Thanks to a true peace officer

Oct 15, 2012

In each case, there's potential that something could go awry. People are, by their very nature, unpredictable.

So, when a call came from a sleepy neighbor in Grand Haven about drums being played at 3 in the morning, an officer stepped up to the plate to keep the peace.

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Officer Joe Schulte knocked on the door of the Clinton Avenue residence and quickly encountered a bad situation. The drummer hit him in the head several times with a wine bottle.

Maybe it was his two tours of duty in Iraq, or perhaps his years in law enforcement, that prepared Schulte for this life-threatening situation. But we have to give him credit for maintaining his cool.

Despite a tussle that was violent enough to break glass in the apartment, Schulte had the wherewithal to draw his Taser rather than his sidearm. He shot his assailant with an electrical current, rather than a bullet.

This charged situation could have easily turned deadly for the officer or the teen, just as it has in surrounding areas. Not long ago, an officer shot and killed a sword-wielding man in Norton Shores. There's a possibility this most recent situation in Grand Haven could have similarly escalated.

But it didn't.

What kept this from becoming a community tragedy was Officer Schulte and the department's wise investment in Tasers.

Thank you to a true peace officer for keeping our community safe. We wish you an exceptionally speedy recovery. You deserve it.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

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