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A good friend and I were talking a day or so ago and I mentioned the name of a mutual acquaintance who happens to be a police officer.  This guy is a police officer in Union, MO.  This is a place where he has seen many of the kids grow up.  This is a place where he knows most of the residents on a very personal level.  Because of his familiarity with the residents of Union, he often treats suspects with dignity and respect.  My friend said because of his familiarity this creates accountability or a restraint in the use of power.  Often police officers are shown not using restraint and abusing their power.  While I agree with my friend, I thought about those cases where the person in power – like a parent – who is quite familiar with his/her child yet decides to abuse the child.  What’s going on here? Or what about the case where the husband abuses his wife?  Or a pastor abuses a congregant? How do we explain this?  Maybe it takes something or someone else besides familiarity?

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