It is worthwhile to juxtapose two news items.

The first involves two undercover policemen who with a heightened sense of duty infiltrated a drug ring and for 15 months put their lives on the line in order to uncover it.

The second involves policemen who manhandled an 11-year-old boy in an egregious abuse of power.

The juxtaposition is useful because it highlights the fact that society does not need a police force that is at once capable of the best behaviour and performance, as is its duty, and the worst.

The country needs a police force that combines excellent professional skills and moral strength.

It needs policemen who respect and protect life, like the officers who penetrated the drug ring with the names “Stavros Trantis” and “Kyriakos Stratias” and not policemen who disrespect and exhibit disdain for life.

The citizen’s protection minister expressed the self-evident when he stated that the latter have no place anywhere in the force.

Their condemnation, however, is not enough. If the two undercover officers proved the extent of the police force’s professionalism and self-denial, the others revealed the dysfunctions of the force.

Such behaviour besmirches the work and reputation of the entire police force.

Police and the citizen’s protection ministry’s political leadership have a duty to defend the reputation of the force.

That is done by exposing and not covering up.

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