Today is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day…
While I am grateful the general population never knows the kinds of things officers see every day, it’s always frustrating to see them so unappreciated and misrepresented.
Our law enforcement officers work extremely long hours, mandatory overtime, erratic schedules, weekends, holidays, birthdays, snow storms, hurricanes, floods, riots. When everyone else is being told to shelter in place, our law enforcement are sent to the front lines. They have to leave their families when they most want to protect them, in order to protect you.
Our law enforcement officers spend long, excruciating months away from their families for training. They lose family members nearly every day. They have to be able to respond to a suicide, a fatal car accident and someone mad because their neighbor’s dog barks too much with the same levels of professionalism.
They are constantly dealing with people at their very worst. I mean…no one calls the cops because they’re just happy and having a great day.
They have to make split second life or death decisions…and they will be hated no matter what they do. They endure ridicule, verbal abuse, physical abuse, tampered with food, vandalism and threats to their families…and in some towns that’s just a standard Tuesday.
They can spend hours trying to save a child and lose them, and rather than being able to fall apart like any normal human being, they have to call back in service and respond to someone whose Christmas decorations got knocked down…when all they want to do is go home and hug their kids.
But they keep getting up and putting on that vest. They keep kissing their families goodbye and walking out the door, not knowing if they’ll come home.
Because there’s a pedophile who needs found before he harms another child. There’s a woman terrified because her husband came home drunk again. There’s a mentally handicapped individual lost who needs found. There’s a child caught in the gang violence. There’s a car accident with injuries. There’s a family who just found a loved one deceased. And an officer will be there. Every. Time. No matter what kind of day they’re having. No matter what you say or do to them. Every day they show up to stand between the monsters and the weak.
So if you see an officer out and about today, say thanks. It means a lot. If they seem short with you or emotionless…please be patient with them…you have no idea what their day looked like today. But most of all…please pray for them…that they stay safe- body and mind. Because behind every officer, is someone who loves them and just wants them to make it home.