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Law Enforcement 1

Mass Shootings Aftermath – We Should All Be Ashamed

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At a time where our country should be united, we are divided.

Instead of uniting as Americans against clear and obvious enemies like, hate and evil, we have allowed our country to become divided by political party lines and ideologies. This has done nothing but prevent any semblance of progress. Sadly, the longer we choose to make each other the enemy, the longer we allow hate and evil to win.

We should all be ashamed.

Any form white supremacy is disgusting and intolerable. This isn’t up for debate, nor should it be a dividing point in our society. As a country, we should stand arm in arm as Americans, to fight such disgusting and destructive ways of thinking. This should happen immediately without finger pointing, or blame, without second thought.

It hasn’t, and we should all be ashamed.

This same approach should be applied toward ANY and ALL forms of extreme or radical ideologies that only prove to be harmful to our country. It does not matter where these ideologies originate, which political party their “actors” associate with, or which religion they may practice, they ALL must be stopped and fought against. Once again, this should not be a debate, or a point of division in this country.

In the days following the tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, California, it is abundantly clear we have failed at coming together. We have failed at uniting as the great country we are to fight the enemy. Instead, we fight each other about who to blame, foolishly looking backward, not forward. Inexplicably, we seem eager and determined to cast blame everywhere but on the shoulders of the cowards themselves who pulled the trigger during these horrific tragedies.

We should all be ashamed.

In the days following these tragic events, our refusal to band together has made us weaker. We have taken sides, engaged in frivolous social media arguments, and allowed the mainstream media to divide us once again to their benefit and profit. What has such infighting solved? What have we accomplished by arguing over who is to blame? When will we stop the blame game and start moving forward with solutions?

Instead of closing ranks and fighting the common problems and symptoms of the recent tragedies, we have chosen to make each other the enemy. We have chosen to turn on each other and point fingers, pick sides, and dare I say, hate, each other for varying opinions, beliefs, or ideas, on how to best move forward.

We should all be ashamed.

I believe it’s futile to complain about a problem without offering a solution. While I don’t claim to be an expert on public policy, law making, or ways to implement solutions to end violence in our country, I think we can all agree, our current path is not the answer. My suggestion in a nutshell is simple, we need to fight the real enemy, not each other. Until we do that, we will go nowhere.

The longer we make each other the enemy, the longer hate and evil win. I can’t think of a more simple way to put it. The longer we stand in the proverbial schoolyard screaming at each other, the more time evil and hate has to fester, likely leading to yet another tragedy, that could very well have been prevented.

We should all be ashamed.

Evil, hate, bigotry, racism, mass shootings, rising murder rates in our big cities, the list of enemies and problems facing our country unfortunately is quite long. Yet, despite this long list, you’ll notice “people with different political affiliations and belief systems” or “people with different solutions for a problem” are NOT on that list.

On September 12th, 2001, we didn’t fight among ourselves, point fingers of blame across political party lines, or use tragedy to further our political agendas. We didn’t allow the mainstream media to divide us along political party lines, determine the narrative, or pit us against each other.

We looked forward, not backward, as a nation.  Through tears, pain, and anger, we came together as Americans, to fight together, not each other.

We stood strong, we came together, we were united, and we won.

What we are doing now, looks nothing like September 12th, 2001 and that alone is a tragedy.

We are better than this.

We are the greatest country in the world and it’s time we acted like it.

Unfortunately, today, we should all be ashamed.

The Officer Next Door

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Law Enforcement 1

Woman Tragically Killed By Police While Shooting at a Dog

CrimeSceneInvestigation

A truly sad and tragic even took place in Arlington, Texas today. Arlington police officials are reporting an officer accidently shot and killed a woman while shooting at her dog that was charging at the officer.

Early reports indicate an Arlington police officer was responding to a “welfare check” call regarding a person passed out in a grassy area.

As the officer approached the woman, an unrestrained dog began barking and charged toward the officer. In response to the dog, the officer fired his weapon several times, inadvertently striking the woman in the background. She later died.

According to police, the incident was captured on the officer’s body camera, which will be reviewed.

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It’s hard to imagine a much more tragic scenario than the one described above. There’s no way you can make this incident easy to stomach. Having been a police officer in neighboring Dallas, I’ve had my fair share of encounters with aggressive dogs, close calls, and have known officers who were forced to shoot dogs.

I knew one officer who waited so long to shoot, the dog was able to bite the gun and the officer’s hand.

Despite what critics say, officers don’t enjoy shooting dogs. Nor do they enjoy being bitten or hurt by one either. It’s a no-win situation really.

Immediately, the comments on social media ask valid questions, “Why not use mace or a taser?”

I’m no expert on proper use of force against dogs. I imagine mace or a taser could work on dogs, just like they work on people. Though people unfamiliar with tasers likely don’t realize you need to have two prongs hitting the intended target to have a “connection” which is what makes the taser effective.

Hitting a small target like the chest of a dog charging at you would likely prove difficult. Hitting the dog with one prong will do nothing at all. Mace may work too. Or, despite the mace, the dog could keep coming and latch on. What should have been done, versus what happened, it’s all speculation at this point. Something I’m trying to avoid yet be reasonable in my assessment of this tragedy.

In any scenario, multiple factors and all options of force must be considered immediately by a police officer. However, they must make these assessments and decisions as they are happening, not always an easy task. Unfortunately for police officers, that’s the job. Split second decisions. No “do-overs” or second chances.

Seeking a legal opinion regarding this tragedy, I spoke with Tom M. Thomas II, a Dallas area attorney who is also a former police officer, he stated, “Accidents that occur under emergency circumstances do not often rise to the level of criminal negligence, especially in cases involving first responders who are attempting to protect themselves or the public from harm. This is where prosecutorial discretion is warranted.”

It can only be assumed charges of negligent homicide or manslaughter will be considered. This is where waiting for all the facts is important. Factors such as, the demeanor of the dog, the reasonable alternatives available to the officer, for example, must be considered when looking at this incident legally and objectively.

We haven’t seen the video, so opinions regarding “what should happen” to the officer, without the facts are without merit or objectivity.

I preach constantly about waiting for the all the facts before rushing to judgement. As such, I will do so in this case.

That doesn’t mean I’m “taking the officer’s side” or “backing police officers unconditionally.” Quite the opposite. I’ll be the first to call out a “bad” officer or one that acts criminally or improperly. I’m simply saying, I will wait to see the video, before I call for the officer to be fired or sent off to prison.

If the video is released and the prosecutor’s office deems charges are appropriate, I will certainly accept that. You won’t see me calling for protests, suggesting we riot, or storm the District Attorney’s office demanding they change their mind.

Justice should be applied equally and fairly, whether it involves a police officer or not. Being held to a higher standard regarding their conduct, doesn’t change their legal culpability or negate their Constitutional rights.

The presumption of innocence and due process apply to everyone in this country, even on-duty police officers.

A truly tragic story, I wish I wasn’t writing about.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 6

Breaking: It’s Not About Pouring Water On Police Officers – It’s About Respect

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By now, most of you have seen the videos showing buckets of water being poured on New York police officers while they are answering calls for service or attempting to affect an arrest on a traffic stop.

In every video, the reaction by the police is the same, they don’t. They essentially take the dousing in stride and don’t attempt to make an arrest. Utterly and completely baffling at first glance.

Knowing it’s 2019, you pause and wonder if we are being “punk’d” by these videos. Maybe this was just a neighborhood party and the cops were in on the water fight? Next I thought, maybe we were only shown part of the video, the part that makes it look bad or controversial, in hopes the video would go viral and the clever person who posted it would make some money on their YouTube channel? Nope. Not the case. I somehow forgot that tactic is only used to make police look bad, not make police look like they have self-control, silly me.

Since the videos surfaced and went viral on social media, there’s been no shortage of speculation regarding the incidents themselves, the failure to react by the officers, and who is to blame for the officer’s choice to do nothing in response. Quickly the question has become, why did these officers look like mistreated puppies who tucked their tails and walked away? Why weren’t they arresting the people who were dousing them with water, potentially ruining their radios and equipment, presumably rendering them in no condition to continue their shift? Why? Why? Why?

Little do people realize, the equipment and gear police officers wear every day is heavy when it’s dry. After being completely drenched, I can’t imagine how heavy their bulletproof vest, uniform, and boots became. Not to mention their body cameras, tasers, and radios, possibly being rendered useless or damaged. An officer safety issue for sure.

Like always, we all have our opinions regarding the proper scapegoat for these events. I was quick to agree with the statement released by the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association that effectively blamed the rhetoric of the Mayor for this behavior. The rhetoric over the years from the Mayor of New York has painted the police officers of New York as the enemy, or a necessary evil if you will.

Put simply, his rhetoric has emboldened the criminal element in New York.

It’s not lost on me there is a stark difference between bullets and water. Being ambushed with a five-gallon bucket of water on a hot day would be refreshing. I have a sense of humor and am always down for a joke, prank, or a way to interact with the community other than arresting someone. Despite what people may think, being a consequence gets old. It is nice to do things other than tell people what to do and put people in jail.

After some thought about these events, I’ve concluded that no one person is to blame.

The true culprit is the loss of respect in our society today.

This falls at the feet of everyone, not just an anti-police Mayor despite his convenient comments condemning these incidents. A little late to jump on the support bandwagon Mr. Mayor. (I’m not using his name on purpose)

The minute it became acceptable to disrespect our elders, our teachers, our coaches, and our first responders, is when this type of behavior became possible.

Gone are the days teachers, coaches, and police officers, are allowed to do their jobs. Gone are the days we take what they say as the truth and respect their assessments or decisions.

Inexplicably, in today’s world, if a kid gets bad grades, ignorant parents blame the teacher not the student. If a kid on a sports team doesn’t get enough playing time or become the next superstar athlete, it’s the coach we blame, not the athlete. If someone gets arrested for blatantly breaking the law on video, somehow in 2019, it’s the police officer we blame, not the person who broke the law. Baffling to say the least.

Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous.

How we’ve evolved into a society that blames the consequences not the actions that caused them is something I’ll never quite understand. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I think most will agree with my assessment of why these events happened.

The reason these events happened in the first place, can be boiled down to lack of respect and the fact we no longer care about holding people accountable for their poor decisions. Instead, as I previously stated, we blame the teacher for the fact the student didn’t turn in the homework. We blame the coach if the athlete isn’t a superstar. We blame the police when people choose to break the law. How has this become the norm?

I guess when participation trophies and feelings are more important than facts or reality, this is what you get.

As our society has become more about being politically correct and less about holding people accountable for their actions, it has managed to create an empowered criminal element.

If we properly backed teachers, coaches, and police officers and placed blame where it belonged, maybe these blatantly disrespectful incidents wouldn’t have happened? Maybe the water yielding thugs would have feared the consequences and not felt so emboldened to be such disrespectful turds?

Even better, if the politicians and mainstream media would get on board with placing the blame where it belonged, maybe we would return to a society that embraces old school ideals like respect or law and order? How wonderful that could be.

It’s a sad day in America when you see first responders who just 18 years ago, ran into burning towers without hesitation as everyone else ran out, be treated with such disrespect. How soon we forget what these men and women are willing to sacrifice for the betterment and safety of our society.

If only we could go back to September 12, 2001, without the need for a tragedy to wake us up…

Thank an officer today.

Never forget.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

We Aren’t Perfect

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We aren’t perfect.

We make mistakes. We regret things we’ve said. We regret things we’ve done.

We make decisions in the blink of an eye with lifelong consequences, hoping we always make the right choice.

By some, we are seen as opposition, an opposing force, or even the enemy. Yet, in many ways, we are no different than anyone else. We have mothers, fathers, kids, and pets. We have hobbies, dreams, likes, dislikes, biases, preferences, favorites, and opinions.

We aren’t perfect.

With the job, comes great responsibility, power, and public trust, there’s no denying that. Something we must yield appropriately with honor and dignity. Let’s be honest, it takes a certain kind of person to run toward danger, when natural instinct tells us to run away with the masses.

Similar in many ways, thanks to our shared humanity. Yet different, because of the job we do, the uniform we wear, and the oath we took.

We aren’t perfect.

The best among us, realize we have power, but don’t look at it that way. The best among us, realize we have a job to do, an oath to uphold, and a duty to protect everyone no matter their color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

With this job, this oath, this uniform, comes great responsibility. The power to take someone’s life or freedom, is not to be taken lightly or abused. Unfortunately, because we are human, mistakes happen. When they do, the damage affects us all.

We aren’t perfect.

Though we should always strive for perfection, if we are being honest with ourselves, we know it’s not possible. No human is perfect. No human is without error or flaws. Mistakes will happen and when they do, consequences should be expected and accepted.

We aren’t perfect.

Sadly, there are some who slip through the cracks. They apply, go through the same rigorous background checks, interviews, polygraphs, and somehow pass. Despite this, their corrupted moral compass, lack of honor and ethics, will eventually shine through. When it does, it will tarnish the badge and the profession. Making it that much harder for those who tow the line with honor and dignity.

We aren’t perfect.

Humanity isn’t an excuse for corruption.

Humanity is not something to hide behind when we let you down.

It’s a simple undeniable fact that with humanity, comes imperfection or room for error.

We aren’t perfect.

Despite all of this, when towers fall, bullets fly, and the unthinkable happens, we will be there for you. Without pause, we run toward what everyone else instinctively runs from. We are willing to give our lives to save yours, without hesitation or discrimination.

We aren’t perfect.

We do this because our humanity is different than yours. Our imperfection allows and compels us to run toward what everyone else runs from, in hopes of making a difference, saving a life, or stopping evil in its tracks.

We aren’t perfect, we are police officers.

-The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 6

Your Rhetoric Killed My Colleagues

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Dear Politicians and Media,

July 7, 2016, happened because of you.

The deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11.

Five families will never be the same. Their loved one will never come home. Their children forever without a father. The city they served, forever without their service.

The truth is, the tragedy of July 7, 2016, happened for one reason. The dangerous anti-police rhetoric constantly pushed by pandering politicians and most of the mainstream media. The false narrative that police officers are killing unarmed minorities at an epidemic rate, radicalized the cowardly shooter and caused the horrific tragedy to take place. The shooter said it himself, he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. What other proof do you need?

It’s a fact, the media and politicians stand to benefit from a divided nation. As such, they continue to fuel the fire of anti-police hate with reckless and racially charged headlines and speeches to keep us divided. It’s a well known fact, the media headlines and social media posts that get the most “interaction” and “views” are the ones that create anger or are controversial in nature. The media and politicians know this and use it to maximize their profits and exposure. They care more about profits and getting elected, than the fact their dangerous rhetoric is pitting minority communities against the police, benefitting nobody.

Without “problems” to fix, politicians have nothing to offer you. Without biased headlines, the media goes largely unnoticed.

It’s truly a shame to watch it happen year after year, headline after headline, speech after speech, where police officers are talked about with such wide sweeping accusations with no concern about the ramifications for their rhetoric. Yet, rest assured, they’ll be quick to point out if anyone says or does something that isn’t, “woke” or “offends someone” despite the fact the rules on what is socially acceptable to say or do changes by the hour, or depends on who is making the rules that day.

Making matters worse, the media is continually reckless. Before the facts come out, before we have any idea what took place, headlines designed to create anger and division hit the news and the anger and controversy spreads, long before we have any facts regarding what happened. We fall for it every time.

You would think politicians would have statistics, trends, something, anything, to support their talking points. Nope. Pandering politicians tell us they want a, “unified nation!” But stare into the television during a debate and say that police officers across this country are implicitly racist. Yeah, I’m talking about you Mr. Mayor of South Bend. Shameful generalization to say the least.

Ask yourself and be honest, are you familiar with the annual statistics surrounding police involved shootings? Do you know how many fatal shootings occur across the population of approximately 330 million people? How many “unarmed” people have been shot? Are the numbers trending a certain way?

I’ll tell you, since 2015, the numbers regarding “unarmed” people being shot and killed by police are trending down. A good thing, but you wouldn’t know that watching political speeches or reading headlines. What a shame. It’s disgusting really. Below is a chart that shows raw data, as collected and published by the Washington Post. They have no reason to skew the numbers, so we can assume they’re at least somewhat unbiased, if anything, they would likely skew them to be against the police. And to some degree they do.

Shootings get classified as “unarmed” by the Washington Post, if no gun is found, regardless of whether the person acted as if they had one (suicide by cop), or the gun pointed at the police turned out to be fake, or the person attacked the officer and attempted to disarm them. They simply lump those incidents into the “unarmed” category. So, if you are able to be objective, understand these statistics aren’t exactly as they appear. Dare I say, upon closer examination, the statistics would likely show police shoot even fewer “unarmed” people than this data set suggests.

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And no, these numbers don’t proportionately reflect the racial percentages of the population, because that isn’t how things work in the real world. Yes, I’m aware blacks make up roughly 13% of the population in the United States, that doesn’t mean there’s a rule that exactly 13% of interactions between police and citizens are perfectly proportional to racial percentages of our population. If we are being honest, we know that isn’t the way things work in the real world.

When you look at the numbers provided by the Washington Post, you will notice the number of shootings since 2015 vary very little every year. They are absent of a sharp increase since 2015, which would support the false narrative police officers are blood thirsty, racist killers, and the problem has been increasing to epidemic levels since the incident in Ferguson, Missouri.

It’s also interesting to note, in most police departments, police officers are assigned the area they work, especially in larger police departments. Due to this, I’ll never understand how an officer is immediately assumed to be racist when a shooting occurs should the officer and victim differ in race. If a white officer is assigned to a mostly all black community, who do you think they will be interacting with? If a shooting were to occur, what race do you think the victim will be in that scenario? How does that make the officer inherently racist?

I have yet to see anything to support racial motivation regarding a police shooting. Key word, motivation. I have yet to see video with audio where an officer says something racially motivated and shoots someone unprovoked out of sheer bigotry and racism. If something as disgusting like that were to happen, I’d be the first to call for a hate crime indictment and hope they get the maximum sentence allowed by law.

Again, ask yourself, have you ever read a news headline that mentions the race of the victim if they were white? No, you haven’t. I’ve searched countless headlines; I’ve used every search engine possible and I was unable to find a media headline that mentioned the race of the person shot UNLESS they were a minority. You never see the headline, “Police shoot unarmed white man.” Why? It doesn’t create division, anger, or controversy.

When it comes to police officers in the United States, I will be the first to admit, we are far from perfect. Those of you who have read my previous articles, know I have no problem calling out an officer when they are wrong, are deservedly fired, or sent to prison. The police profession, like any profession, has its warts. True. We are humans doing a job that is much harder than the talking heads will ever know.

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These five officers were ambushed by a coward radicalized by media headlines and political rhetoric that perpetuated the narrative police officers across the country are racist killers.

These five officers were gunned down while protecting and serving the very people the media and politicians allege they hate. Yet, when the bullets flew and the chips were on the table, hundreds of Dallas Police officers didn’t react by running away saying, “Black lives don’t matter.” No, they didn’t.

THEY RAN TOWARD THE COWARD WITH THE RIFLE.

Officers dove to the ground and indiscriminately shielded people with their bodies, who mere seconds before the shots rang out, were protesting against them. They acted with bravery, valor, and professionalism, without hesitating. Why? Because that is what police officers in this country do. Every. Single. Day.

Yet, the media and politicians in 2019 have the audacity and ignorance to continue to sell you the false narrative, police officers are implicitly racist.

As time has passed since the worst day of my life, July 7, 2016, it’s time the politicians and media hear the truth.

Your rhetoric killed my colleagues.

Sergeant Michael Smith #6141

Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens #8193

Police Officer Brent Thompson #420

Police Officer Michael Krol #9217

Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa #10112

Gone but never forgotten.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 8

Heckler says: ‘Whatever officer gettin’ shot need to be’ [VIDEO]

CrimeSceneInvestigation

As an officer lies stranded in the backyard of a nearby residence, mortally wounded by a domestic violence suspect, an equally sad side of society was on display.

The video is disturbing. On many levels. Sadly, it’s not just the sounds of rapid gunfire coming from a domestic violence suspect that will disturb you. The comments made by angry bystanders toward the responding police officers are enough to invoke a range of emotions.

Posted on Twitter by Matthew Keys, a digital editor for Comstock Magazine, officers can be seen attempting to establish a safe perimeter by putting up crime scene tape.

The hecklers can be heard making comments like, “Y’all not fitting to shape no narrative today.”

Not to be outdone, another despicable woman can be heard saying, “Whatever officer [is] gettin’ shot need to be!”

As the video continues you can hear gunshots in the background.

Tragically, Officer Tara O’Sullivan, 26, was shot and killed during the incident, who was reported to only have been with the Sacramento Police Department for 18 months.

***WARNING: The video below contains language that could be disturbing to some viewers. Please use discretion.***

It’s clear there are issues in our society, sadly, if we are being honest, there will always be “issues”.

There will always be room for improvement, mistakes will be made by police officers, and people, including police officers, will demand accountability.

What is most disturbing is the fact the officers in this video are simply trying to keep people safe and protect them from gunfire. Gunfire the officers likely knew was coming from someone who shot a police officer and wasn’t going down without a fight.

“Bullets have no names,” they say. Yet these people felt it necessary to heckle officers as they secured the scene, solely intending to protect the very people that were heckling them, from harm.

All while their colleague was stranded in a nearby backyard, dying.

They say police officers are the enemy. The media portrays them that way because it makes them money. The more angry people are, the more they have stories like this one to share.

This is what they – the media – want. Division. Anger. Death. Sadly, it’s working. You can hear it for yourself while watching the video.

A real tragedy.

Multiple tragedies really.

First and foremost, it’s a tragedy we lost a young 26 year-old hero. Even in today’s climate, she CHOSE to be a police officer.

The other tragedy is there are people out there so warped and angry, they hate police officers blindly, even as they worked to protect them from an armed lunatic.

Beyond ridiculous and sad, but it’s our reality today. A good look at what police officers deal with on a daily basis.

Rest In Peace Officer O’Sullivan.

Gone, but never forgotten.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 7

Another Officer Down – Why It Keeps Happening

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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

Law Enforcement 25

You Want Us To Protect You, But Punish Us When We Do

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Society wants police officers to be “knights in shining armor” that show up immediately when needed, but without speeding, or running red lights.

Society wants police officers to arrest every “bad guy” in the city, but do so without using force, regardless of the force used upon them.

Society wants the criminal element held accountable, but without dangerous car chases or putting society in any sort of danger.

There’s been much debate about the “Ferguson Effect” in policing since 2014. Basically in short, the idea of the Ferguson Effect is police officers are becoming more reactive in nature. Out of fear of punishment or prison, should things take a turn for the worse. As a result, police officers are choosing to take a more, “hands off” approach.

What many citizens may not realize about police officers, is there are MANY different kinds of police officers within every department. Some enjoy working car accidents, some enjoy working narcotics cases, and others simply prefer answering calls and the wide variance of situations that arise from answering 911 calls. Every police officer has their “preference” or “niche” in what they enjoy doing.

In policing, however, there is a stark difference between a “reactive” and “proactive” officer. Some officers just aren’t proactive. They don’t enjoy seeking out the criminal element or going to jail. Some would even go so far as to call these officers lazy. Truthfully, like any profession, some officers are lazy. They take the path of least resistance and do the bare minimum. This could be for any number of reasons. Maybe they were hard workers in the past, but have been punished and lost out on pay raises and promotions enough times, they finally gave up. Maybe they decided they’ll simply do as little as possible, in hopes they don’t get in trouble?

Others are probably just lazy by nature and would be lazy no matter what profession they were in, basically a fireman with a badge. Citizens call, dispatch tells them where to go, they show up, do what they have to do according to what transpired, and then move on to the next call. Pretty simple. This kind of police officer is great at, “customer service” because citizens expect officers to show up when called. But don’t expect to see this officer chasing thugs on foot, or knocking on doors looking for someone with a felony warrant. That’s for those “go-getters” they’ll say. That kind of stuff is for the “crime fighters.”

Then there’s the other side of the coin. Some officers, dare I say, most officers, go above and beyond every day and not only answer calls, they do much more. They actively seek the gang member with a felony warrant. They pay attention to which cars were taken at gunpoint the day before and watch for them during their shift. Basically, some police officers work extremely hard and are diligent in their efforts to make a difference by holding the criminal element accountable.

However, the harsh reality is being this kind of police officer almost always comes at a cost to the officer. Whether the general public wants to believe it or not, internal and external punishment is a constant with police departments. Complaints from citizens have a major impact on a police officer’s career, daily mental health, and stress. Even if the complaint is found to be a lie, or the officer is later exonerated, the pending investigation could have a lasting negative impact on that officer’s career.

Especially because investigations often take a considerable amount of time, which could cause an officer to miss out on a promotion, a transfer to a different assignment, a pay raise, or other career enhancing benefits.

The negative Nancy types reading this may say, “Tough! Don’t be a jerk of an officer and you won’t get complained on!” Well negative Nancy, it’s not always that simple. Sometimes you get complained on for just being at a call. Sometimes, you can do nothing wrong at all, the body camera may prove it, but that doesn’t mean the complaint won’t be taken and a thorough investigation won’t take place.

“Well if you did nothing wrong! It shouldn’t matter!” Ah yes negative Nancy, in a perfect world, you’d be right, but the truth is in some departments there is backlog of complaints and investigators get overwhelmed and can’t take short cuts. Due to this, though the officer may be cleared in the end, but they could still be inadvertently punished due to the pending investigation.

Add to this the growing trend of officers being sent to prison, or maliciously prosecuted for political gain, yeah I’m talking to you Baltimore, and you can’t help but ask yourself, why stick your neck out as an officer?

No, I’m not saying officers shouldn’t be held to a higher standard. No, I’m not saying officers shouldn’t be complained on if they do something wrong. If you’ve read other articles I’ve written, you’d know I’ve staunchly called out “dirty” or “bad” police officers and will continue to do so.

The point of this entire is article is simple. The harder a police officer works at defending you from evil, the more likely they are to end up in a shooting, a fight, or something negative that the social justice warriors will deem “wrong” in their YouTube videos. For their efforts and bravery, there will be consequences, usually negative ones, even when everything they did was “by the book.”

One heck of a deal if you ask me.

The question is, which officer do you want patrolling your neighborhood?

The fireman with the badge who does the bare minimum and simply shows up when called?

Or, the one who goes the extra mile to seek out the true criminal element in our society and put them in jail where they belong?

If you were an officer, which one would you be?

The fact is, you want us to protect you, but when we do, inevitably, it comes at a cost.

Across the country, there seems to be two trends taking place. Police departments are having trouble recruiting new officers and crime is on the rise.

I could be wrong, but the very cause of these trends are in the title of this article.

The best police officers live to hunt the evil you pretend doesn’t exist. And they pay a heavy price for doing so. I wish people understood.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

Comic Relief: How To Avoid Becoming Anti-Police

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Some may wonder how someone becomes one of those anti-police haters we see on social media. So I felt compelled to create a guide on avoiding such a fate.

This is meant to be read with a hint of sarcasm and humor. So those of you who take life too seriously, I suggest you stop reading and go back to your den of anger.

A step by step guide on how to avoid hating the police:

  1. Don’t shoot people. If you’re out there rolling around town and feel like “busting some caps,” you’re likely already a police hater or a felon, so we will just move right along.
  1. Don’t smoke crack, it’s whack. Self-explanatory.
  1. Don’t sell drugs. Get a real job.
  1. Follow traffic laws! No one likes getting traffic tickets, but they’re completely avoidable should you just follow the laws.
  1. Don’t hit people. Your girlfriend, your boyfriend. It really doesn’t matter who they are, let’s just keep our hands to ourselves kids.
  1. Remember, Hugs Not Drugs. Words to live by.
  1. Don’t steal stuff. If you don’t steal things from people or businesses, the odds of you getting in trouble with the police are slim. Baffling, I know.
  1. Don’t do meth. I needn’t elaborate.
  1. Don’t join a gang. Don’t be a fool, stay in school.
  1. Don’t fight or run from an officer. You’ll just go to jail tired.

It’s just that simple.

Thank an officer today!

The Officer Next Door

 

 

Law Enforcement 4

Fourteen Year Old Gunned Down in Dallas – Lack of Outrage Puzzling

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A fourteen-year-old was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas last night.

The fourth murder in as many days in Dallas.

According to initial reports and video surveillance, the victim wasn’t doing anything illegal. He wasn’t selling drugs or engaging in criminal behavior. He was simply standing in a gas station parking lot.

Unfortunately, for the fourteen-year-old, that parking lot is known for such activity. When shots rang out between two vehicles, one driving by and one in the parking lot of the gas station, the innocent victim was caught in the middle and tragically killed.

There’s no other way to put it, a young teenager killed in crossfire is simply tragic. Equally as tragic, is the fact that it occurred at a place known for drug sales, gang activity, and violent crime. It’s tragic because it’s becoming increasingly clear that the criminal element in Dallas and other big cities across the country, feel as if they can operate with impunity.

Protests and marches certainly have their place. However, despite what anti-police critics echo in their news conferences and statements to the media; police officers across this country never want to shoot or hurt anyone. Protests when someone is clearly and unjustly killed by the police make sense. People look to police for protection and when an officer kills someone unjustifiably, it creates anger and distrust.

Understandably so. Wrong is wrong. Justice should be applied equally and equitably across the board. A higher standard should always exist regarding the actions of police officers.

Not long ago, an officer in a city that borders Dallas, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for an unjustified shooting that took the life of 15-year-old teenager, Jordan Edwards. Tragically, Edwards like the latest victim in Dallas, was not doing anything wrong or criminal when he was killed.

The aftermath of the shooting by former Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver, spurred immediate outrage and calls for justice by members of the community and the District Attorney’s office. Again, understandably so.

Sadly, in the aftermath of the recent and senseless murder of a 14-year-old Dallas resident, I can’t help but notice the lack of community outrage. I watched a live feed of the Police Chief addressing the media mere hours after the senseless murder. No mention of crowd control. I had no trouble hearing the Chief speak to the media over the non-existent shouts from non-existent community members demanding justice and accountability.

Nothing.

Cars passed by the crime scene as if nothing happened. A congregation of police cars, crime scene tape, and news media trucks, just another Tuesday night in Dallas.

No outrage.

No protests.

I’ll ask the obvious questions.

Why is this crime acceptable? Where is the outrage about the fact in the month of May alone, Dallas logged more than one murder per day? Forty-one murders to be exact. The majority of which were in communities with a high population of minorities.

That’s a lot of tragedy in one month considering Dallas has typically averaged between 130-170 murders per year since 2015. You would think if anyone would be upset about an alarming number of murders in a neighborhood, it would be those who live in it.

Race, ethnicity, or any other identifier aside, if there was an alarming number of murders in my neighborhood, I’d be upset. Pissed off maybe. Wouldn’t you?

Apparently, if murder or violence in your neighborhood is the norm, the only time you get upset about tragic and senseless killings, is when a police officer is to blame.

A real shame to be honest. I don’t care where the crime spike occurs, one life lost is too many. Especially a senseless murder like the one of that took place last night in Dallas, Texas.

No fourteen-year-old deserves that fate. I don’t care what neighborhood or city you’re in.

Either way, it’s becoming abundantly clear, “activists” like Lee Merritt and Dominque Alexander – who have been actively involved in protesting and advocating for “justice” in Dallas – pick and choose which victims they care about. Lee Merritt had no issue rushing to make a statement and call for press conferences when a woman falsely claimed a DPS Texas Trooper raped her during a DWI arrest last year.

However, the innocent 14-year-old senselessly gunned down last night, apparently doesn’t meet their criteria for outrage. I didn’t see either of them rushing to Adam’s Food Mart to assemble and make a statement to the news media. Nor did I see emphatic calls for justice or plans for a protest or march announced on social media.

Nope.

Nothing.

Apparently, it’s “business as usual” in Dallas, Texas tomorrow. Just another young kid murdered for no reason other than the criminal element has been allowed to run wild in Dallas. A nationwide trend as police become increasingly reactive in nature.

In Dallas, a police force dwindled by a mass exodus of officers and a District Attorney and Police Chief, that favor making excuses for criminals, over holding them accountable. A true recipe for disaster.

As of writing this, I don’t know the race or identity of the 14-year-old victim, as the details haven’t been released. Quite frankly it doesn’t matter.

The fact remains, the silence is deafening and sad.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 27

If I Could Forget What My Eyes Have Seen

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Image Source: JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would stop the years of tragedy from replaying in my head, while trying to sleep at night.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would no longer see the face of the young child I couldn’t save from drowning.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would no longer see the lifeless bodies lying on the highway at the countless fatality car accidents I’ve worked.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would no longer see that person take their last breath who was caught in gang crossfire.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would forget the look on a parent’s face, when I told them their child was dead and never coming home.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would no longer see the lifeless bodies of every homicide victim, I’ve seen over the years.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would not remember what a decomposed body looks like, even worse, what one smells like.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would forget the look of fear and pain on every domestic violence victim’s face, who endured abuse from someone they loved.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would erase the images of child abuse, sex trafficking, and child porn, I was forced to see throughout my career.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, my heart would be softer, my trust more attainable, and my guard not always up.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I’d be less skeptical, less cynical, and remember that kindness in humanity still exists.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would no longer break down and cry unexpectedly, like a dam of emotion breaking for reasons unknown.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would sleep without issues, cold sweats, and repetitive dreams of being killed, would be a thing of the past.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would not have to sit with my back against the wall when out in public, forever on alert, just in case evil were to show up.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I’d be forever free from the truth that evil is real, it’s out there, I know, because I’ve looked into its eyes.

If I could forget what my eyes have seen, I would not be a police officer.

These are the burdens we carry, the price we pay, to keep you safe.

This is the truth behind our badge.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 0

Truths The Anti-Police Crowd Refuse To See – Prevent Progress, Keep Us Divided

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Photo Source: Chicago Tribune – A rally with opposing protests in Chicago following the Smollett case dismissal

Dear Anti-Police Critics,

Whether you believe me or not, I hear you when you voice your opinions and concerns about police officers. I fully support your right to peacefully march or protest for causes you believe in. I understand the emotions you feel when someone you care about dies at the hands of another. The truth is, we are more alike, than we are different.

I know what it’s like to bury someone you love, went to school with, or in my case, wore the same uniform. I understand the feelings you experience when you hear about a preventable violent tragedy and think, “That could have been me.” It’s our worst nightmare, for both us. Like I said, we are more alike, than we are different.

I know how frustrating it is to be judged solely on your appearance and not your character. I realize I made a choice to wear this uniform and unlike some, I can change my appearance by simply removing it. However, the fact remains, nobody should be judged by appearance alone, it’s that simple. I ignore the dirty looks, the hateful comments, and the people who spit in my direction as I pass by. Whether you believe me or not, I go to work every day hoping to be a positive influence in the community and strive to treat everyone equally.

We both want safe neighborhoods, the ability to chase dreams, and a fair justice system across the board. Like you, I want violent criminals held accountable and the innocent protected from violence and evil. I take it personal when someone is hurt or killed on my watch. Despite what some may think, I especially don’t want to hurt or kill anyone. It’s truly every officer’s worst nightmare. Just remember, without hesitation, I’ll give my life to save yours. Whether you believe me or not, it’s true.

I can say with absolute certainty; all good police officers despise the bad ones. When deserving, we have no issue with them being fired or sent to prison. There’s no place for a dirty or corrupt police officer in our profession. Their lack of integrity, poor decisions, or corruption wipe away any good we’ve done and erodes the vital trust of the community. This sentiment is shared across the entire profession, whether you believe us or not, we simply hate dirty police officers.

In the end, police officers are human and like you, they make mistakes. Despite their humanity, the highest standards of accountability are paramount. However, accountability is a two-way street. Collectively, we must look at incidents objectively and assign blame fairly. If we move forward with a willingness to walk in each other’s shoes and learn from our mistakes, the potential for progress is endless. True change is possible, but it must be achieved together, not apart.

Behind my badge is a heart like yours.

In the end, we all want the same things.

I hope you see, we really are more alike, than we are different.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 2

An Open Letter To Police Critics – We Are More Alike Than We Are Different

Barclays Center protest in Brooklyn, NY on December 1, 2014.
Photo credit: Stephanie Keith

Dear Police Critics,

Whether you believe me or not, I hear you when you voice your opinions and concerns about police officers. I fully support your right to peacefully march or protest for causes you believe in. I understand the emotions you feel when someone you care about dies at the hands of another. The truth is, we are more alike, than we are different.

I know what it’s like to bury someone you love, went to school with, or in my case, wore the same uniform. I understand the feelings you experience when you hear about a preventable violent tragedy and think, “That could have been me.” It’s our worst nightmare, for both us. Like I said, we are more alike, than we are different.

I know how frustrating it is to be judged solely on your appearance and not your character. I realize I made a choice to wear this uniform and unlike some, I can change my appearance by simply removing it. However, the fact remains, nobody should be judged by appearance alone, it’s that simple. I ignore the dirty looks, the hateful comments, and the people who spit in my direction as I pass by. Whether you believe me or not, I go to work every day hoping to be a positive influence in the community and strive to treat everyone equally.

We both want safe neighborhoods, the ability to chase dreams, and a fair justice system across the board. Like you, I want violent criminals held accountable and the innocent protected from violence and evil. I take it personal when someone is hurt or killed on my watch. Despite what some may think, I especially don’t want to hurt or kill anyone. It’s truly every officer’s worst nightmare. Just remember, without hesitation, I’ll give my life to save yours. Whether you believe me or not, it’s true.

I can say with absolute certainty; all good police officers despise the bad ones. When deserving, we have no issue with them being fired or sent to prison. There’s no place for a dirty or corrupt police officer in our profession. Their lack of integrity, poor decisions, or corruption wipe away any good we’ve done and erodes the vital trust of the community. This sentiment is shared across the entire profession, whether you believe us or not, we simply hate dirty police officers.

In the end, police officers are human and like you, they make mistakes. Despite their humanity, the highest standards of accountability are paramount. However, accountability is a two-way street. Collectively, we must look at incidents objectively and assign blame fairly. If we move forward with a willingness to walk in each other’s shoes and learn from our mistakes, the potential for progress is endless. True change is possible, but it must be achieved together, not apart.

Behind my badge is a heart like yours.

In the end, we all want the same things.

I hope you see, we really are more alike, than we are different.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 1

Parents: Police Will Not Arrest Your Kids For Misbehaving – Be Parents, Not Comedians

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I think most police officers agree there a few things that get old quickly as a police officer.

No, I’m not talking about the unpredictability of your work schedule, the dangers of the job, the fact you have to work weekends, holidays, and if you’re unlucky, mandatory overtime due to manpower shortages. No, I’m not talking about those things. Because like “they” say, “That’s what they signed up for!” (Another annoying saying)

I’m talking about the moronic thing parents say to their kids when they encounter police officers in public.

“You see that police officer over there? If you aren’t good, they will take you to jail!”

This is about as funny as our other favorite, “I didn’t do it officer!” (Insert hysterical laughing here)

Whew. Man. Good stuff. Really good stuff. Honestly, tears, tears are rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard. “I didn’t do it!” (Shaking my head in sheer amazement someone could be so funny……..not really).

Alright, back to being The Serious Officer Next Door.

Honestly, police officers have enough to deal with when it comes to public scrutiny and negativity. There’s plenty of anti-police groups, extreme “libertarians” that hate the government and police, not to mention the criminal element police officers confront daily. The last thing a parent should want is a child that fears the police. “Stranger danger” doesn’t apply here, yet that’s basically what you’re telling them.

Young kids, of all people, need to KNOW they can run toward a police officer in the event of an emergency. Why create a fear of the police at such a young age? It doesn’t matter if you’re joking.

I don’t care what the media or the anti-police crowd tells you, a police officer’s best days are the ones they get to truly help someone, save a life, or do something positive. Yes, they’re a consequence, which naturally hinders their popularity, especially among those who live a life of criminality.

Sure, sometimes police do stupid things and end up on the news. But these are children we are talking about. They are impressionable and need to be taught that a police officer will help them no matter what it is they need.

I remember growing up, we didn’t need our parents telling us the police would arrest us and take us to jail if we misbehaved. Instead, we had a show called, “Rescue 911” and the intro to that show was creepy as heck. It honestly scared the crap out of me, yet, I loved watching that show. I’d go to bed terrified our house would go up in flames and I’d have to crawl through flames and smoke toward a firefighter with a mask breathing like a scary Darth Vader.

Yeah, I just made firefighters scary. Take that hose draggers!

I grew up more afraid of that scenario than anything else.

I guess I was lucky. I had parents that I respected and feared, in a healthy way. I was raised, “guilty until proven innocent,” by the very people who brought me into this world. The way it should be. As such, they didn’t need to tell me the police would come take me away for misbehaving. My parents were enough of a consequence, they didn’t need police officers to help raise or discipline their children. They also taught their children to respect teachers, police officers, and people in positions of authority. Ah, the good ‘ole days.

I’m not telling anyone how to parent. I’m not “parent shaming” or any other ridiculous term someone may want to throw out there. I’m simply saying people need to think about the messages they send to children when it involves the police. They’re an ally, not the enemy. Teach your kids that and maybe our society will be better off going forward. Be the change you want to see. Respect for authority doesn’t have to be a thing of the past.

Thank a police officer today.

Even better, encourage a positive interaction between a police officer and a child if you’re able.

It’s not just the children who will benefit.

We all will.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 2

Stop Doing This When You See A Police Officer

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I think most police officers agree there a few things that get old quickly as a police officer.

No, I’m not talking about the unpredictability of your work schedule, the dangers of the job, the fact you have to work weekends, holidays, and if you’re unlucky, mandatory overtime due to manpower shortages. No, I’m not talking about those things. Because like “they” say, “That’s what they signed up for!” (Another annoying saying)

I’m talking about the moronic thing parents say to their kids when they encounter police officers in public.

“You see that police officer over there? If you aren’t good, they will take you to jail!”

This is about as funny as our other favorite, “I didn’t do it officer!” (Insert hysterical laughing here)

Whew. Man. Good stuff. Really good stuff. Honestly, tears, tears are rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard. “I didn’t do it!” (Shaking my head in sheer amazement someone could be so funny……..not really).

Alright, back to being The Serious Officer Next Door.

Honestly, police officers have enough to deal with when it comes to public scrutiny and negativity. There’s plenty of anti-police groups, extreme “libertarians” that hate the government and police, not to mention the criminal element police officers confront daily. The last thing a parent should want is a child that fears the police. “Stranger danger” doesn’t apply here, yet that’s basically what you’re telling them.

Young kids, of all people, need to KNOW they can run toward a police officer in the event of an emergency. Why create a fear of the police at such a young age? It doesn’t matter if you’re joking.

I don’t care what the media or the anti-police crowd tells you, a police officer’s best days are the ones they get to truly help someone, save a life, or do something positive. Yes, they’re a consequence, which naturally hinders their popularity, especially among those who live a life of criminality.

Sure, sometimes police do stupid things and end up on the news. But these are children we are talking about. They are impressionable and need to be taught that a police officer will help them no matter what it is they need.

I remember growing up, we didn’t need our parents telling us the police would arrest us and take us to jail if we misbehaved. Instead, we had a show called, “Rescue 911” and the intro to that show was creepy as heck. It honestly scared the crap out of me, yet, I loved watching that show. I’d go to bed terrified our house would go up in flames and I’d have to crawl through flames and smoke toward a firefighter with a mask breathing like a scary Darth Vader.

Yeah, I just made firefighters scary. Take that hose draggers!

I grew up more afraid of that scenario than anything else.

I guess I was lucky. I had parents that I respected and feared in a healthy way. I was raised, “guilty until proven innocent,” by the very people who brought me into this world. The way it should be. As such, they didn’t need to tell me the police would come take me away for misbehaving. My parents were enough of a consequence, they didn’t need police officers to help raise or discipline their children.

I’m not telling anyone how to parent. I’m not “parent shaming” or any other ridiculous term someone may want to throw out there. I’m simply saying people need to think about the messages they send to children when it involves the police. They’re an ally, not the enemy. Teach your kids that and maybe our society will be better off going forward. Be the change you want to see. Respect for authority doesn’t have to be a thing of the past.

Thank a police officer today.

Even better, encourage a positive interaction between a police officer and a child if you’re able.

It’s not just the children who will benefit.

We all will.

The Officer Next Door

Law Enforcement 8

All I Ever Wanted To Do Was Become A Police Officer

All I ever wanted to do was become a police officer.
Ever since I was a kid, I felt like it was a calling.
I’ve seen the news, read the headlines, and watched police funeral processions.
I knew it was dangerous, but that wasn’t going to stop me.

All I ever wanted to do was make my community safer.
I didn’t set out every day to write tickets or make arrests for minor crimes. Instead, I hoped to find someone that deserved to be in jail and put them there. Gang members, violent felons, or drug dealers, any would do. Someone has to hunt for those people, to be honest, that’s the only kind of police work I wanted to do.

All I ever wanted to do was truly help someone.
It didn’t matter how it happened. Whether it was making an arrest, helping someone when their car broke down, finding a missing family member, or recovering stolen property.  Or maybe just being there to listen when someone was at rock bottom. When you break it down, that’s really what the job is all about. There’s no better feeling than knowing you truly helped someone.

All I ever wanted to do was save a life.
It doesn’t happen every day or on every shift, but when it does, you’ll never forget it. You won’t hear us talk about it, because to us, it’s part of the job. No matter the circumstances, a bad car accident or medical emergency, saving just one life makes an entire career worthwhile. It reminds you why you answered the calling, despite all the challenges.

All I ever wanted to do was be there when someone needed me the most.
Whether it was to prevent something tragic from happening or responding quickly when it did, I wanted to be there. If I wasn’t, I took it personally. That’s why despite our own fears, we run, not walk, to wherever danger or evil lurks. We are truly the thin blue line that stands between society and evil.

All I ever wanted to do was make my family, friends, and coworkers proud.
With the badge and uniform comes great responsibility. It was up to me not disgrace the name on my name tag or the patches on my shoulders. While wearing them, I represented something bigger than myself. My family, my blue family, a brotherhood, a sisterhood, and the thin blue line that stretches across the world.

All I ever wanted to do was go home safe after my shift. It didn’t take long to realize this job would forever change me. The tragedy, violence, and evil, we saw on a daily basis was quick to take its toll. Putting on a bulletproof vest before every shift, was a stark reminder of the violence we may confront. I knew all this, but it wasn’t going to stop me.

All I ever wanted to do was become a police officer.

The Officer Next Door

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