Those who follow law enforcement news, already know 2019 got off to a tragic start.
Recently, two young female officers, both only 22 years-old, were gunned down in back to back days, each with less than one year of service to their community.
Any police officer being killed is tragic, however, I think we can agree that young, vibrant, and beautiful women getting shot and killed is difficult to stomach. Call me old fashioned, it just seems more egregious.
As the tragic news comes out and social media is a buzz, inevitably, someone asks, “Why does this keep happening?”
I’ll tell you why.
It will keep happening, because brave men and women get up every single day, strap on a bulletproof vest, kiss their loved ones goodbye, and head to work knowing they may not make it back.
It will keep happening, not because it’s “what they signed up for,” but because despite that, they took the oath anyway.
It will keep happening, because police officers are the “thin blue line” that stands between the evil in our society and the rest of us.
It will keep happening, because police officers do more than write speeding tickets and take reports. They confront unknown dangers, violent gang members, and armed drug dealers.
It will keep 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 avoiding accountability for their criminal acts.
It will keep happening, because police officers confront violent members of society every day, not knowing they’re dealing with, what their intentions are, or what they plan to do.
It will keep happening, because when bullets fly, all hell breaks loose, or tragedy strikes, the police run toward it, while everyone else runs away.
It will keep happening, because despite the tragedy, heartache, or the pain of losing brothers and sisters in blue, they will continue to show up when called, holding the line, keeping you safe.
It will keep happening, because when police officers are cut, bruised, bleeding, or injured, they keep fighting, even if in the end, it costs them everything.
It will keep happening, because police officers are sheepdogs. Sheepdogs live to protect the sheep from the wolves, it’s innate, it’s in their blood.
It will keep 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 will keep happening, because the spirit of police officers can’t be broken, the bond is too strong, the family too close, the brotherhood and sisterhood too real.
Some days are quiet and go by fast, others 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 desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
As we go forward, remember why, “it will keep happening” and support the men and women who run toward the things everyone else runs from.
Gone, but never forgotten.
Thank an officer today.
The Officer Next Door