It may be unpopular to do so at this time but I want to take a moment to thank some men and women among us.
In light of all of the negative reports surrounding questionable law enforcement activity I want to thank the law enforcement who get it right. There is a large force of uniformed men and women who serve us every day. Who don their badges with pride and honor and do all that they can to earn the respect that should come with that badge.
This is not a commentary on what is wrong. I acknowledge that there are changes that need made in some areas, in some training, in some people. This isn’t about that.
It’s a recognition and thank you for those who get up every day and go in to do the best job they can.
Because those people do exist in law enforcement.
This is to the men and women who also see the news. Who hear the chants. Who see the anger. Who have access to the exact same information that we all have access to. This is to the men and women who I imagine stand there watching the news feeling helpless. Fearful. And maybe…despair.
How many of them are saying “but that’s not me!”
How many communities and law enforcement agencies have worked together to develop programs to build healthier communities. Communities that address under privileged children. Struggling families. The aging and alone population. How many law enforcement officials have worked diligently to address problems like these and have been successful? How many law enforcement personnel donate their personal time to programs within their communities so that they are closer to their communities, because they are part of their communities? How many law enforcement officials, agencies, and communities have made themselves better?
I work in a field where I interact with law enforcement on a frequent basis. Police and Sheriff more frequently but on occasion the State Highway Patrol. I have never seen an act of disrespect towards a victim or a perpetrator. I have witnessed well trained individuals exhibit patience, wisdom and calm. I have seen skilled techniques when de-escalation was needed. I have felt safe just by their very presence. And I appreciate what it is they do.
And I know that I could not do what they do.
These men and women do exist.
While there are situations that do need addressed let’s not forget that there are many more situations that can be, and should be, appreciated. For all of the negative that is being highlighted that does not negate the extremely difficult and necessary work that our law enforcement must face every single minute of every single day.
I think it’s as important to acknowledge the good, the stellar, and the well done. If we can pin point the negative and cull out the tactics and inappropriate methods that’s only part of it. We need to also recognize and build on programs and skills and tactics that do work. And though it may not be popular to say at this moment, the role of law enforcement will often times put these men and women in a position of having to use force.
To our men and women who protect and serve us well, thank you. We do appreciate you.