the burden 3

56.

That’s how many law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice so far in 2019.

Every time a police officer is killed in the line of duty and the story is shared on social media, inevitably someone comments, “Why does this keep happening?”

I have ignored the question every time I’ve seen it. I felt like the answer is obvious. However, since I continue seeing it, I feel compelled to answer to the best of my ability.

It keeps happening, because brave men and women wake up every single day, strap on a bulletproof vest, kiss their loved ones goodbye, and head to work knowing they may never come back home.

It keeps happening, because police officers are the “thin blue line” that stands between the evil most of society pretends doesn’t exist. They are what stands between the criminal element and potential victims.

It keeps happening, because police officers do much more than write speeding tickets and take reports. They confront unknown dangers, violent gang members, and armed drug dealers on a daily basis.

It keeps happening, because there are people in the world that don’t value life. There is evil among us, willing to kill a police officer in hopes of remaining free and not be held accountable for their criminal acts.

It keeps happening, because when bullets fly, all hell breaks loose, or tragedy strikes, the police run toward it, while everyone else runs away.

It keeps happening, because the media and anti-police “activists” want people to think police officers are the enemy, making the target on their backs even bigger. Despite this, they still show up when called, holding the line, keeping you safe.

It keeps happening, because when police officers are cut, shot, bleeding, or injured, they keep fighting, even if in the end, it costs them everything.

It keeps happening, because police officers are inherently sheepdogs. Sheepdogs live to protect the sheep from the wolves, it’s innate, it’s in their blood.

It keeps happening, because police officers are human and under that vest is a servant’s heart. They’re no different than you or me, but they’re programmed to serve others no matter the cost.

It keeps happening, because the spirit of police officers can’t be broken, the bond is too strong, the family too close, the brotherhood and sisterhood of the badge, too real.

It keeps happening because police officers truly believe in standing for something, even if it costs them everything.

Some days are pleasant and uneventful, other days they see things that will haunt them forever.

Police work is a calling. They’re drawn to it because being a police officer is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of life. A true calling that isn’t for everyone. A desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself for the greater good.

As we go forward, I challenge you to remember why “it keeps happening” and support the men and women who run toward the things everyone else runs away from.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

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