One thing you can say about 2015: it’s been a bad year to wear a badge.
August 2015 alone saw 15 in-the-line-of-duty deaths with three in one day (Aug. 28) and six in a four-day period from Aug. 24 to 28.
During the last nine months, eight officers appear to have been targeted specifically only because they worked in law enforcement, including a Texas deputy last month fueling his patrol car, as well as two New York City officers who were shot and killed in December as they sat in their patrol car. Earlier this month, two Las Vegas officers were ambushed with gunfire, but survived, when sitting in their patrol car in what investigators believe the motive was only for being cops.
In California, three officers have been killed this year, two from gunfire murders in San Jose on March 24 and in Hayward on July 22.
National Thank a Police Officer Day, to be held this Saturday, Sept 19, has been started by the Whole Truth Project, an organization with a mission to promote a pro-police message.
Citizens are encouraged to take a moment out of their day to show appreciation for their local officers through small acts of gratitude or by saying “thank you” and businesses are urged to donate something to police departments, like breakfast or coffee.
If a law enforcement officer has touched your life, please take the time to show your appreciation that day. Policing can be a thankless task.
As a former officer, I can attest, police work breaks your heart, no matter how detached you try to be. Officers risk their lives for others to take care of society’s ills for relatively low pay, high public criticism, and daily media scrutiny, often working for departments with cut budgets and low staffing.
Many citizens and organized groups currently are incredibly negative toward law enforcement officers, including rhetoric from some politically popular movements that I believe instigate premeditated and cold-blooded assassination of police officers. Often times we’ve seen these groups, and even the media and certain public officials, make thugs into heroes and martyrs and those police officers who were enforcing the law made into the villains.
There is an attack on law enforcement in our nation right now by certain factions, and we need to call it what it is: A War On Police.
Whatever spin these groups give to justify their actions, often times rushing to judgement without facts or true evidence, have promoted an “us against them” mentality, amid an outcry accusing police of excessive use of (sometimes deadly) force. The truth of the matter is our police officers are the thin blue line between good and evil. They protect our lives and our property, and keep our streets safe while we rest peacefully in our beds at night.
There are thousands of untold stories of the daily actions of police officers in this area – actions like arresting drunk drivers; counselling suicidal individuals from taking their life; rendering life-saving aid as first-responders of car accidents or shootings; taking guns and drugs off the streets; and so much more.
Most of these stories are never heard publicly, but chances are, you and your family have been touched by a police officer or will be.
Please, if only for just Sept. 19, tell an officer who is still serving a heartfelt thank you.
For all the law enforcement officers reading this, I salute you, honor you, and appreciate the contributions each of you makes every day, in every jurisdiction, as you protect and serve.
Thank you; you make the world a better place.