National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day – January 9

 In Military

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is today, January 9, 2019. As negativity runs rampant against police officers across the nation, it’s time for all of us to thank police for their sacrifices and service. They are invaluable for all of us, and many people refuse to acknowledge it.

Sacrifice

At a Black Lives Matter Rally went of in Dallas, Texas in 2016, a gunman began shooting at police. He killed five, and wounded 7.  It was one of the deadliest attacks on police since September 11, 2001. But in the melee, some officers placed their bodies between the civilian participants and the shooter…even though those participants were there to rally against them. Doing that has caused the deaths of more than just one police officer, but it’s part of their duty.

Rescue

They often rescue citizens and even animals in trouble. On January 4, 2019, Flagler county, Florida Deputies were called to the scene of a car that had accidentally run into the nearby lake. The two officers who responded did not hesitate, they entered the water and rescued the woman, her blind daughter AND service dog.

The kind of thing happens more than you may realize. Sometimes they can’t get there in time, as happened during the hurricane last year when Sgt Perez, a member of the Houston Police Department was lost when the water overwhelmed his car so fast he was unable to get out.

Counsel and assist with a helping hand

On January 2 in Jackson, Tennessee, Elizabeth McClain wrote this post, which reads in part:

Imagine this you are sitting on the side of the road and for whatever reason everything you own can fit in a backpack. It’s 42 degrees outside you’re lonely and hungry. You put your head down to try and forget the scream of hunger echoing in your mind. Then you hear the sound of an engine stop. You look up to see a uniformed officer walking towards you. Your mind flutters thinking of everything you might be doing wrong. Suddenly this officer sits down pulls out lunch and not only takes away your hunger but your loneliness too.

This is exactly what Patti Crowe Walker and I witnessed on our lunch break today. I don’t know this man or this officer but what I do know is that today they made a difference. A difference in the way I think and hopefully a difference in the way you think as well. I’ve always supported the blue community but something about this officer truly touched my heart. This is the side of law enforcement no one sees. Social media shows the tragedy and hides the testimony. This Sheriff’s deputy made a difference today, and no amount of hatred towards his profession can take that away.

Facebook photo- by Elizabeth McClain

Police officers are human beings. They have families like you and I. They just happen to have a high risk profession. I’ve watched them deal with major tragedy much like you and I would at first, but then pick up and keep going while their hearts are wrenched in sorrow. Baby deaths handled by new fathers. People they know in fatal car accidents. A fellow officer- a brother, brutally gunned down on the streets of their own city. A fellow female officer ambushed and shot multiple times by a lunatic in the parking lot of her own agency in the middle of the night.

I’ve known police officers who killed themselves. Men who were once productive, exceptional officers decided to end it all. Some just give up. Sometimes it’s because of a lost purpose in retirement. All of it could be PTSD.  Over 158 officers took their own lives in 2018, according to Blue Lives Matter.

Are they perfect? No. Are there bad officers? Yes. But they, like our military men and women, face the ugliest of situations on a daily basis. And with the negative vibe toward officers these days, it has to be overwhelming.

Today if you see a police officer, thank them. It’s the least you can do.

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