The St. Louis Police Department has been given a black eye by allegations of crimes by officers. In the last five months, 13 members of the St. Louis police force, or former officers, have been charged with crimes ranging from bribery to involuntary manslaughter, and civil rights violations.

The actions by a few should not tarnish the reputation of the others in the department, many of whom have served for years with distinction, and provided valuable security services for the general public. An entire department should not be judged by the actions of a few. But that type of judgment usually happens.

Police officers are better trained today than ever before. The fact that there have been a few who commit criminal acts, it could be said, is a reflection of our society today. Police candidates are screened before being admitted to the academy for training, but screening never is perfect.

Overall our society is less religious today, families aren’t that tightly woven, and basic values aren’t what they once were. Television programs that feature violence are too common. The producers of those TV shows go by ratings and some run for years because they are popular with viewers.

The drug scene has been out of control for too long. Many law violators are on drugs or alcohol when crimes are committed. It is very disturbing when a law officer commits a crime while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Law enforcement officers often deal with gutter people and you would think that would have a positive rather than a negative effect on them as far as examples are concerned.

Americans are not the principled people they once were. There are many reasons for that. People are too lax in morals. There’s been a breakdown in values, generally speaking. Too many poor examples are set by adults and that has influenced children. Over the years, a lack of appreciation for another person’s property has been observed. There is less respect for life. Abortions have something to do with that.

The police officers will have their day in court. Unfortunately, when law enforcement officers are charged with crimes, it is disturbing.