RIP Deputy Dennis Wallace. Having worked in records of the Sheriff’s Office and Modesto police for the past 20-plus years, I know most officers as just regular guys, family guys. I have seen these men cry over raped, brutalized and murdered children. However, some in our community have had different experiences, often negative.
I hope the brutal murder of Deputy Wallace will serve as a wake up call for all of us here in the Modesto area. Listening to the testimonials of people his life touched in such a positive way, especially young people, I know we all have much to learn. Citizens need to learn respect for law enforcement and know that encounters with police and deputies are simply a result of the officers doing their jobs. Officers on the other hand, need to get more involved with citizens on a day-to-day basis, showing their “softer side.”
Tensions can run high in many encounters, and it can be difficult maintaining one’s cool. However, we can see by the positive impact Deputy Wallace had that changes can be made, relations can improve. As his brother Dave said, “Let’s not dwell on how he died, but remember how he lived.”
Gail Wose, Waterford