I am ashamed of what is happening in our country. The rash of violence against police has got to stop. It is a disease that continues to plague all communities and threatens public safety.

All too often we hear about officers being ambushed and murdered while trying to do their jobs. In some warped way law enforcement has become a popular target in today’s society.

My heart goes out to the families who are innocent victims of these senseless crimes.

This venom runs so deep that even the mere presence of police officers “offends” people.

Recently a situation occurred in Tempe, Arizona where eight police officers were at a Starbucks having a cup of coffee.

A customer complained to a (now ex) employee that they were uncomfortable seeing the police officers in that store. The police were asked to leave, which they did. Since this happened many police officers are boycotting Starbucks and their burnt and overpriced coffee.

The incident was brought to light by the Tempe Officers Association, and soon the hashtag #DumpStarbucks started trending on Twitter.

As children, we were taught in school and at home to respect police. If I am showing my age by saying that, then so be it.

My respect was reinforced on 9-11 when police officers did not run away from the disaster, they ran toward it. Many of them have lost their lives.

I was there and their bravery will always be etched in my mind. They had our backs at that time and so I make sure that when I am somewhere and the police are there, I nonchalantly take notice of who is nearby. In a way I am watching their backs.

I wonder who do the haters call in an emergency? What is the goal of cop haters? Total anarchy?

Not too long ago I had the misfortune of hearing someone that I know say that “people become cops so that they can shoot black people.” It is sad to know that people feel that way. That person’s words still haunt me as I know this is not a true statement.

We need to ask how this thinking got started and how do we change how people see law enforcement?

I am not being naive when I say that I believe that most people who choose law enforcement as their career are good people who want to protect and serve.

We can begin mending relations between police and the community by education.

We can start from the ground up by teaching young people that the police are not their enemy and let them see the value of law enforcement in this country as they did when I was a child.

Knowledge and understanding can go a long way in bringing about change. I pray that this is the case and that healing can begin.

Mini World Changers: On March 30 I was visited by the Mini World Changers. This is a ministry where multiple churches come together once a year to serve others.

Several hundred students from all over the state come together to share the love of Jesus by serving in our community.

These kind people step up to help those who are truly in need. They rake yards, fix roofs, build wheelchair ramps, paint, and whatever else is needed. I am extremely grateful to these young people for helping me to clear my yard when I was having difficulty walking.

Before You Get Angry at Slow Pokes: We can never tell what is happening in the vehicle in front of us. The person may be having car issues or might be disabled or might be having a medical issue. Tail-gaiting, honking and high beams only make things worse. An ounce of understanding goes a long way. Remember that it may someday be you that needs that same consideration.

Reflectors in Summerville: On Dorchester Road between Old Trolley Road and Orangeburg Road it is very difficult to see while driving at night. Night driving is also difficult at the split between 17A and Tupperway Drive near Summerville High School. Additional reflectors would make things safer as our town has very few street lights.

Paul Girgenti is the former vice chairman of the board of Palmetto House. Former CEO of Training On Demand in New York City. Paul is currently writing a series of books for children and adults. He is an antiques and fine arts appraiser and the owner of an estate liquidation company called Downsizers.