Photo credit: Jason Bullard and Karen Solomon for Blue H.E.L.P
As a police officer, I’ve seen evil.
Unfortunately, I see evil all the time.
Evil has many forms and doesn’t always look the same.
I saw evil at the drug overdose, where I found a mother holding her dead son in shock and disbelief.
I saw evil when I arrived at the shooting minutes after it took place and watched the victim take their last breath.
I saw evil when I arrived at the freeway accident caused by a drunk driver and put sheets over the deceased.
I saw evil at every domestic violence call and I saw the marks evil left behind physically and emotionally.
I’ve seen evil alright.
As a police officer, when I hear about a tragedy anywhere in the world, I can’t help but think about evil.
Whether I want to or not, I think about what the evil looked like.
I think about the brave souls who ran to confront it.
And worst of all, I think about the people who didn’t deserve to experience it.
It’s everywhere it seems, yet books about law enforcement tell police officers, “There is more in this world besides evil!”
I know it’s true, yet it’s persistence is formidable. We see it so often, it’s hard not to become skeptical of humanity.
I’m not complaining. As some critics say, “It’s what we signed up for.” And to some degree, they’re right, I signed up to fight evil.
That part is true.
What I didn’t realize is the effect it would have on me. Once you see evil, it changes you forever.
The badge and uniform I wear, don’t protect me from evil. Evil has killed many like me, in more ways than one.
Evil has killed many officers on-duty. Sadly, evil has killed even more officers by their own hand.
We are not impervious to evil.
The badge and uniform don’t protect us from evil, because what’s behind them, is no different than anyone else.
My heart hurts and tears fall, just like everyone else who confronted by true evil.
Despite all of this no matter what, I want you to know, I will never quit and let evil win.
I wake up every day hoping to prevent evil and if I’m unable, I will fight to hold it accountable.
I live to protect and serve. I laugh and cry. I succeed and I fail.
Because in the end, I’m a police officer by profession, a human by nature, and a warrior by choice.
Rest easy knowing, I will fight evil, in hopes you never will.
Evil will not win.
The Officer Next Door