A Conversation With Four North Texas Police Officers

'We have to move forward together,' one officer says

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Four spokesmen for police departments in North Texas spoke out Friday about protests and calls for police reform.

“This is a tough time for everybody,” Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau said.

As public information officers, they are the public faces of their departments.

But they agreed to sit down with NBC 5 at Arlington police headquarters to discuss the ongoing tensions.

"First of all, what we saw in Minneapolis, we've all denounced it,” Arlington police Lt. Chris Cook said. “It was horrific."

They all agreed.

“We have to move forward together,” Fort Worth officer Jimmy Pollozani said.

Grand Prairie police officer Mark Beseda said he and his colleagues are called upon to address many social issues beyond crime.

"We don't consider ourselves to be law enforcers,” Beseda said. “We are problem solvers."

The four officers all support peaceful protests and say they understand why they are happening.

"We have to recognize that communities of color have had a different experience across America when it comes to law enforcement,” Cook said.

Cook said while the vast majority of officers are good people who got into the profession for the right reasons, he admits some departments have bad apples.

"Quite frankly there are people that should have never been in the profession to begin with,” he said. "We embrace positive change."

Pollozani said it’s time for protesters and police to understand each other.

"We have to come together as one community, one department, to make a difference,” he said.

While these are admittedly tough times to be a cop, they see a reason for hope.

"We're going to come out of it as a stronger profession,” Cook said. “Our communities will be better. Our children will be better served."

The other three agreed.

"And we have to move forward together, in solidarity, and bridge that gap we are lacking in the community and go ahead,” Pollozani said.

"This has opened up a lot of lines of communications that were once closed,” Beseda said. “And we're bringing the community together. We're going to stand together and unite. That's what's going to happen."

"It's not us against them,” Barineau said. “We're all in this together. We came here for the same reason and it's to have a better life for all."

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