National Police Week

Each year, one week is set aside, designated as National Police Week. It began in 1962, when President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week surrounding it as Police Week. Every year, during this week, we honor and pay tribute to the brave officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Less than halfway through 2018, we have already lost 54 police officers in the line of duty: 27 from gunfire, 13 from automobile crashes (often while responding to emergency calls), and others from various other situations related to the dangerous job these officers perform on a daily basis.
These officers paid the ultimate sacrifice, leaving their spouses, children, families, friends, and coworkers while protecting the lives of people they'd never met. They performed a job often thankless, often sensationalized and highly misunderstood. They put on their uniform and reported for duty as an imperfect human being, expected to make each decision impeccably, and to perform their job immaculately, under extreme scrutiny from people who have no idea what their job really is.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of police officers perform the same job. They are expected to be babysitters, to solve the communities' petty problems (often results of poor decision making by involved parties), and to do so in a service minded manner. In the midst of those frivolous calls for service, they are expected to deter crime and to catch criminals who prey on others. They are sheepdogs: protecting the herd from the wolves when the herd is often unaware, ignorant to the truth, and even critical to the way the sheepdog works to protect them.

These officers have a calling for their careers in law enforcement. It is not an easy job by any stretch of the word. There are many, many side effects from the stresses and hazards of the field they've chose - or that has chosen them. They start their shift each day knowing there are people that want to harm, even kill, them simply because of the uniform they wear. Because of these hazards and dangers, the men and women who serve their communities as police officers are not able to simply clock out or turn off their position as an officers - it follows them everywhere.

The families and loved ones of officers often pay a steep price as well. They miss their loved one, out serving their communities and risking their lives, during family events, holidays, weekends, anniversaries, etc. It's not an easy life as an officer or as their family, but Thank God for these brave officers and their families for making sacrifices for the rest of us. Even the cop haters, those that critique and vilify the police for doing their jobs, still call for help and expect police officers to respond to help them, to fix their problems, and to protect them. And they do.

In honor of Police Week 2018, I ask you to remember three things:

1) Next time you see a story or video of a "bad cop," get the WHOLE story before making a decision. If you feel you don't understand why actions were taken, PLEASE sign up for your local police department's Citizen Police Academy. Most departments have them and I promise you will learn so much. You will have a better understanding and you will walk out with a much deeper appreciation for the men and women in law enforcement.

2) With all the negativity in the world and in the media, be the voice of positivity. When you see a police officer in your community, know they are a person just like you and me. They have their own families, their own problems, multiplied by all the problems of others'. Speak to them; thank them for what they do and let them know that you support them. It means so much.

3) Reflect on the lives of the 54 officers who gave their lives this year, along with the many, many, way too many who have died in the line of duty in the past. Think of their families, though proud of their loved ones, who now go on living without them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

National Police Week

Each year, one week is set aside, designated as National Police Week. It began in 1962, when President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as Peac...