We are a law enforcement family. Every day my husband makes the choice to get out of bed. He chooses to pin a badge, wear a duty belt, and enforce the law. He chooses, no he calculates his words and his actions on every traffic stop because he knows he made the choice to protect, to serve, to be an example of the law, and that he is under a microscope by every passer-by who thinks they know how to do his job better than he does.
But most passers-by don’t make that choice, nor will they ever make the choice to put their lives, their families heart on the line. They are blissfully unaware of the risks my husband faces in his reality every.single.day.
At the time of this writing, there have been 42 Line of Duty Deaths where the officer was killed by gunfire.
Here’s the thing… the officers all made the same choice that my husband makes every day. They strapped on the badge and the duty belt, thereby making the choice to possibly have this tragic outcome. I am no about to suppose exactly how they were feeling that day, but what I do know, is that they made the CHOICE every day.
I often wonder where most people get their information about law enforcement, and what message is being sent to their kids, or their kids friends with the conversations around the dinner table.
The media you faithfully flick on at 6pm every night, or watch before bed letting the stories of woe marinate while you try to sleep peacefully. The same media who cuts from the presentations of the facts to go to potential havoc in the streets. The same media that can form public opinion with just a few words or perfectly spliced footage.
Social media sites are inundated with angry people, exercising their 1st Amendment rights, and throwing fuel to the fire, turning their anger to rage.
We are the first source of media for our children. In our home, we care not of the color of your skin. We care about how you treat others. I am careful of what I say in front of my kids, whether at heated times between law enforcement and the public, or just in passing, asking about my husband’s day at work. I am sending them a message with every word I utter.
Do I want them fearful of people’s skin color, or understanding of the struggles they have gone through in our nation’s history, and continue to go through? Do I want them to respect the officers that choose to protect and serve, or do I want them seeing them as the enemy?
We, the American People, have created a monster. There is no justice for monsters, so until we stop talking poorly about our “enemies”, there will always be enemies. There will always be risk. There will always be killing. There will always be anger in the veins of this great nation. There will always be war.
But there is always a choice.
Choose wisely, because you, and who the world sees you as, are the product of your choices.