I’m not a police officer. I don’t know what it’s like to suit up every single day and serve a community that doesn’t always appreciate me. I don’t know what it’s like to be hated because I have to enforce the laws that I didn’t write. I don’t know what it’s like to work a shift that turns into an easy 18 hour day. I’ll likely never know what it’s like to have someone’s life in my hands. I’ll never have to look into the eyes of a terrified child because he just saw his daddy beat his mommy for the third time this month. I’ll never know what it’s like to pull a child from the wreckage of an accident that didn’t make it. I’ll never be responsible for photographing the bruises and marks of child abuse and sexual assault. I’ll never have to pull up to a parents house and tell them that their teenager won’t be coming home because he was involved in a fatality. These are the things that I will never have to do.
I am, however, the wife of a police officer. I am the mother of a police officer’s son. And even though I am not an actual officer, my heart bleeds blue. It bleeds blue because I have been given an opportunity to be deeply embedded into their community and their family. It bleeds blue because I know. I know these men and women who do all the things I mentioned in the first paragraph. I know the men and women that are being crucified by liberal media and public figures with a political agenda. They are being villanized in a court of public opinion and they are being hunted by people who have hearts filled with ill-intent. The people who fill social media with their ill intended anti-police rhetoric are calling for something that you aren’t prepared to experience. Let’s call it what it is. They are calling for anarchy. In their eyes, the world no longer needs a hero. The world needs a platform that doesn’t hold people accountable for their actions and a dialog that victimizes the criminal and assassinates the character of the victim. This is a blatant call for twisted views on our civil liberties.
Let’s make something perfectly clear here before someone goes insane in the comment section of this blog post. I don’t like bad cops. I’m not so naive to believe that they do not exist. I’ll go even further and say that good cops do not like bad cops either. They don’t enjoy being misrepresented by the few bad eggs. And when the few bad eggs make mistakes, they want them held accountable for their actions. The media has created this idea that police officers enjoy hurting people. They enjoy killing young, black men. It is being implied that these men and women wake up each day with one goal; murder an unarmed teenager. I would really love to see the statistic of how many lives these men and women save vs. the lives that they unfortunately have had to take. Even without seeing the data, I can guarantee you that the goodness that they have deposited into this often dark world is far greater than the lives that have been claimed by their hands. Where is the data on that? No one seems to care about that data because, let’s face it, positive news doesn’t sell in a world where the loud minority gets a voice.
Am I the only person that remembers the police officers who ran towards Sandy Hook when an armed man was taking the lives of numerous innocent children? Am I the only person who remembers when an entire nation watched the Boston Police Department hunt and capture the terrorists responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing? I know I’m not the only person who remembers the men and women who ran towards the two towers as Al Qaeda claimed the lives of thousands of people in the name of religion. Have we forgotten? These situations beg me to ask this question. Do we only love the police when we need them? Do we only need heroes when no one else is willing to step up to the plate? Had you been present for any of these events, would you have been running towards the danger or would you have been fleeing to safety? It’s easy to assume who you would be in these situations but, unless you’ve actually been in them, it’s unfair for you to answer.
We are creating a world where we are discouraging people of bravery to sign up for the job. We are allowing the people who protect and serve us to be labeled as racists and bigots. We have created an environment where they are being executed for the uniform they wear. We are allowing large social media platforms to host pages that revolve around the death of police officers. Who protects the ones who protect us? Who runs towards them when they are being assaulted? I’ll tell you. They do. They only have themselves. They only have each other. Furthermore, we are creating a world where it’s okay to rob a convenience store and assault a police officer, because if you do, large political figures will rally behind you and justify your actions. In fact, they will even turn around, raise you up to hero status, and give you a job with their city after you have openly admitted to being involved with illegal activity involving drugs and violence. This is happening while they drag the character of the officer through the street because he chose to live that day. His only crime was choosing life.
My heart is broken over the state of our nation. My heart is broken for our police force. My heart is broken because I fear for the life of my family as I see people calling for someone to hurt my child just to spite police officers. Humanity isn’t about combating perceived injustices with more injustice. It isn’t about hurting the lives of the innocent to honor the lives of the dead. Humanity doesn’t want to see people fail. Humanity doesn’t want there to be racisms, hate, and prejudices. That doesn’t just include race. That also includes occupations.
We lost three police officers to hate crimes this past week. We lost another young black teenager who made a decision that cost him his life. There is a problem. No one can deny that. But the problem isn’t central to a police force. It’s central to a element of learned fear. We are teaching young black teenagers to fear the police. We are teaching police officers that their lives are expendable because they willingly signed up for a job that could cost them their lives. What do we expect to happen by allowing people to “peacefully protest” with signs that say “A Good Cop is a Dead Cop” or “Kill a Cop a Day and Keep the Bad Guys Away”? I’m not a police officer. I’m not but, I guarantee you that I would picture those words in my head every single time I had to interact with someone and it would make it extremely difficult to not fear for my safety. It would be difficult for me to give someone the benefit of the doubt that their heart is good.
I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking that I am biased and all I can say is that you’re right. I’m biased because I know them. I’m biased because I’ve heard the voice of someone who nearly didn’t get to come home. I’ve seen the eyes of a man who pulled a child from a wreck that looked just like his. I’ve heard the heartbeat of the person behind the badge. And it’s a heavy heart beat. I’ve seen their acts of kindness to strangers, their fearlessness in the face of danger, and their humanity when they have to watch a world bury their brothers or sisters. And, I love them. I love all of them.
We need to rally behind our men and women in blue. It shouldn’t take another large scale tragedy to remind us that we need them. We should just know that we do when we go safely into our homes at night. We should know we need them by appreciating the due diligence in keeping us safe and secure. If you haven’t truly thought about what a police officer does because you’re still angry about your last traffic violation, you’re missing the bigger picture. If you haven’t put yourself in their shoes for a split second, you’re way off base from reality. If you haven’t hugged a police officer and told them you appreciate them, you’re missing out.
The silent majority needs to find their voice. We have to rise up. We have to come together. I just feel like the world has forgotten and we have come to a place where we can’t afford to forget any more.