There have been a number of recent headlines outlining the activities of local police officers, both good and bad, all of which we felt was worth some commentary.

Because police officers are held to a higher standard of conduct, it is always troubling when one of those charged with protecting and serving the public is charged with a crime. That was the case last week, when Maine State Police Trooper Gregory Vrooman was arrested on a sex-abuse charge involving a child and on a charge of tampering with a witness.

Both alleged offenses are serious by anyone’s standards, and whatever the outcome of the case, it reminds us all that law enforcement officers are human beings who, like any of us, are capable of doing wrong as well as doing right.

There are undoubtedly some people who will use this case to paint all those in law enforcement with the same brush (we see the same reaction when a teacher is charged with a similar crime), and that is wrong and unfair. To judge a group of people who share a common characteristic — whether it is their profession, their race or some other trait — on the actions of one individual does not serve anyone well.

Those who work in the field of law enforcement face challenges on a daily basis that we are thankful we don’t encounter in our line of work. We appreciate the men and women who put on a uniform each day to make sure our communities are safe places to live and work.

One officer who immediately comes to mind is Belfast Police Sgt. Walter Corey, whose calm and collected demeanor was credited with helping to defuse a situation last week in which a local man reportedly greeted the officer with a loaded shotgun. In addition to the obvious danger to the two parties directly involved, the fact that the incident took place in an area where homes are packed close together means there was also a risk neighbors might have gotten hurt.

Belfast Police Chief Jeff Trafton credited Corey with handling the situation in the best way possible.

“He didn’t panic, and he kept his cool the whole time,” said Trafton, who added that the situation could have had a much worse end. Like Trafton, we are thankful for Corey’s handling of the situation and the fact that everyone emerged from the incident without injury.

Within the last couple of weeks, we’ve also learned of the departure of three veteran officers from two local departments. Howard Dakin retired from the Belfast Police Department after serving the citizens of Belfast for 21 years, rounding out a law enforcement career of nearly 40 years. For that, we extend our thanks to Dakin, and we wish him all the best in his retirement — it is certainly deserved.

Searsport Sgt. Steve Saucier will be heading to work for the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office at the end of this week, and we’re sorry to see him go. We’ve seen him grow from a high school student and athlete to a law enforcement officer, and we believe he has done his job well. The best of luck to Steve as he begins a new chapter in his career — Penobscot County will be fortunate to have him on board.

We’ll also be saying goodbye to Searsport Police Officer Jessica Danielson this week, who is bound for Florida to build a new life. Jessica was the first full-time female police officer to serve in a Waldo County department, and in the years she worked for Searsport, she demonstrated that she was willing to go above and beyond to become the best officer she could be.

Danielson obtained extensive training in areas like domestic violence, child and elder abuse because she felt those areas were important for the SPD to have the tools to address. She also made it a point to work with organizations like New Hope for Women to help educate the public about domestic violence.

While there have been in the past, and surely will be more in the future, examples of police officers not living up to the higher standard that they must meet when they wear a badge and a uniform, we believe we are lucky to have the kind of officers we have here in Waldo County. We are thankful for the work they do each and every day.