As I write this article, we are less than three weeks away from our November election day. As you read this, I hope it means we have survived the day without falling into a catastrophic Armageddon. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever your political affiliation, I pray that you and your family are all well.
This has been a year to remember and for all too many reasons, although I think many of us would like to erase 2020 from our memories. However, as we end the year and with many more years ahead of us, we must never forget the lessons we have learned in 2020. I believe the most important takeaway from this year is that we must all learn to work together, teach each other and respect one another for the sake of our future generations.
Public safety departments across the country have adapted to changing times and tried to teach the public about our professions. We need to remind the world that our titles as peace officers mean that we strive to keep the public peace in our communities. The public needs to realize that we are your fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, customers, patients, coaches, mentors and voters. We come from the communities we have chosen to serve.
Recruiting from the human race is a difficult thing. Law enforcement agencies have an intensive screening process, and most agencies attempt to select those best suited mentally, physically and with a good moral compass for this job.
Officers undergo rigorous training in order to qualify to be called a peace officer in most states. Then, most of us will invest hundreds of hours (in some cases, thousands of hours) in on-the-job training.
We have many duties in keeping the peace. Sometimes we are asked to document a crime, and many times these are horrible things to witness and write about. Sometimes we are asked to be a family counselor, a pastor, a parent, a doctor, a judge. Many times we are called upon to be involved in situations we would not rather witness or be part of. Sometimes we are the ones who write tickets or take citizens to jail. Many of these tasks are not pleasant, but the personal satisfaction and knowing we are helping keep our families and friends safe makes the pros outweigh the cons. We do so because that is our job — the job the community wants us to do and the job we get paid to do.
We do our best under stress, using laws and policies to guide us, with the tools, experience and training we are given. We respond to these routine calls and emergencies because we want to help. Our families sacrifice us not being home in the middle of the night, holidays, birthdays and other celebrations because we serve the public. We risk our health and lives daily to do our jobs and to protect life and property.
Yet, some still want to defund the police? I hope the quiet majority of citizens still appreciate officers entrusted with maintaining public safety and don’t want to throw away the majority of peace officers who overall do an outstanding job day in and day out.
Having written all this, I would like everyone to consider a day without police officers and deputies. It sounds a lot like a movie from not too long ago. Can you say, “P-U-R-G-E”?
- All peace officers remove themselves from the world for a day
- Stay inside, don’t go to work, and stay with their family and friends
- Don’t enforce any laws or make any arrests
- Don’t go to any calls for service
- Let people fend for themselves
Family disputes, business disputes, crimes in progress, thefts, burglaries, robberies, assaults and battery. Child abuse, rapists, assault with a deadly weapon, shootings, stabbings, attempted and actual murders.
Let people do whatever they want. It sounds horrific because it would be. If you haven’t realized it yet, peace officers are part of the community in which they serve.
However, peace officers have a sense of duty and would not let this chaos happen. We still show up to help when everyone is running in the opposite direction.
Don’t throw us all out for the sake of a few who have made mistakes (and in some of these cases, the real trials are still pending).
In the meantime, may God keep everyone safe. Thank you for reading.