This has been an extremely painful and disturbing week for our nation and for the law enforcement community. I personally feel pain in my soul as I try to wrap my head around the insanity. My heart hurts for the families of the fallen and injured Dallas police officers and other officers around the country. The profession I so deeply love is under attack and it pisses me off.
It all started with the outright targeting and murder of 5 police officers in Dallas last Thursday. This attack was calculated and tactically executed with the singular goal being to kill as many peace officers – white peace officers – as possible. That cowardly attack was carried out, as we all know, by a black man who told us his motivation – to kill white police officers. The suspect’s motivation for the attack was obviously racist and influenced by the so-called Black Lives Matter movement and the rhetoric of the liberal activists and their leaders.
So instead of moving forward as a nation and putting the past behind us, people are completely hell bent to remain in the grips of hatred and division instead of moving forward in love, unity and a shared hope for a better tomorrow.
I’ve seen it and lived through it before.
In Los Angeles in the early 1990’s I was a police officer working in South Central and I experienced way too much of it. The 1992, Rodney King – LA Riots – was all about killing cops and particularly white cops. I lived through the racial divide in that city. I experienced the intense hatred on a daily basis and I, like my brothers and sisters in blue, continued day after day to put on our uniform, place our badge on our chest and answer the call to duty regardless of skin color, regardless of politics and regardless of our own personal feelings and opinions.
Becoming a police officer isn’t something you just casually decide to do. It is something you are called to do because it involves servitude and duty. Those two concepts are serious and they mean something. When you are a police officer people rely upon you both within the department and in the community of people you serve. It is not a light undertaking and the profession is not entered into without serious soul searching.
As a police officer of some experience, it was never my intent to harm anyone even when it was obvious that was their intent for me. I did not choose the law enforcement profession to hurt people; I chose it to help people. I believe that the vast majority of men and women across this nation who answer the call to duty and become police officers do so for that very same reason.
Do you know just how tough it is to respond to someone’s house after they have called 911 and find yourself in the middle of outright hatred just because you are a cop? Do you know how much internal fortitude and faith it takes to let go of the hatred you were exposed to at one call for service and moments later find yourself rushing to help someone else in that very same community? How many offensive names, generalities, threats and bodily assaults would you be willing to take in a single day – every day over the course of 20 years?
But yet we expect our police officers to do it and keep doing it.
If you haven’t been a cop you have no earthly idea of what it is like. You absolutely do not know what it takes to enter potentially life threatening situations day after day, call after call, and traffic stop after traffic stop all the while thinking of your loved ones at home who are wondering if mommy or daddy will make it home . You, yourself, wonder if you will make it home to see them that evening. You wonder if you will be there for the next birthday or Christmas morning or other special event.
But as a police officer, your duty calls and it comes first.
Police work is like no other. Officers are asked to be marriage counselors, therapists, enforcers, negotiators, tacticians, strategists, analysts, comforters and heroes. They are asked to put their own problems aside, place their family second and help total strangers who many times don’t even like them simply because they are cops.
But that is exactly what a police officer does.
Have you ever thought that maybe an officer is going through their own marital or financial issues or perhaps a loved one has passed away or that their spouse was ill? Yet we demand that he or she place their troubles aside and help a complete stranger deal with their problems. It is truly remarkable the things that officers do during a shift and do so with professionalism while under so much stress, duress and public scrutiny. Ask that of a 22 year old man or woman in any other profession, I doubt you will find anyone who will step up to the task.
It is incredible that we expect our officers to exhibit extreme patience, understanding and all the while be mind readers yet we don’t expect citizens to simply comply with the requests of the officer so they can just do their job.
Just as in any job there are people who have no business working in that industry and who are eventually rooted out. I have witnessed a few such police officers in my career and eventually they were identified and quickly ushered out of the profession and thankfully so. That happens because police officers are human beings just like anyone else – despite the belief otherwise. But, I will continue to voice loudly and repeat until I can’t repeat it anymore, the majority of police officers are well meaning in all their actions and duties.
Please join me in supporting our police officers not only this week but every day of the year. These men and women in blue deserve our utmost respect, support and admiration. Take a moment to stop and tell an officer or deputy that you are thankful for their selfless service, encourage them in their duties and show that you care for them as they do for you. And if you happened to be stopped by an officer please, for heaven’s sake, just simply do what he or she asked you to do.
Super men and women – that is what they are in my book.
May God bless these slain officers, their families and may He bring peace to this nation.
Viper One Six – Out