Tired Of Sadness and Tragedy? Try this article on for size.

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People complain about the negativity in the news and on social media all the time. Yet, little do they know, it’s their fault. I bet if I titled this article something mundane like, “Tragedy Sells” or “Tragedy Rules the Media” it’d get passed over even more than with the current title. In fact, I’ve written a similar article before, it garnered very little readership, so we will see how this one goes.

I recently saw an officer comment on social media something like, “We were on our way to serve a warrant looking for a murder suspect, we had our heavy gear on, helmets, and as we were headed toward the target location, multiple voices could be heard saying things like, ‘Be careful!’ and ‘Protect yourself!’” The officer went on to say how much that meant in that moment. It’s the little things.

All too often police only hear criticism for “wearing militarized equipment” or “looking too aggressive,” as if to suggest police officers should go into situations being outgunned and under protected. That kind of rhetoric is sheer nonsense. But that’s a whole other axe to grind.

Back to the topic at hand, people’s love affair with tragedy.

Why do we as a society eat up tragedy with such vigor? A tragic event hits the news and we hit that share button on social media, spreading the word like wildfire. However, ‘mum is the word’ when a positive news story comes out, unless it involves a cute puppy or something funny and worthy of going ‘viral’. It’s sort of a shame.

Two officers have been shot in the last 12 hours, one has died. I haven’t rushed to share either of those stories, despite the fact I know they would garner a large number of “likes” and “shares” which is your ultimate goal running a website.

Why?

I don’t want to constantly be the bearer of bad or tragic news. If I were “greedy” for “likes”, “shares” and “comments,” then I could easily “fall in line” and share the sadness like all the rest. I could bask in the glory of my “website traffic” and “social media reach”. But I hesitate. And maybe it will be the death of The Officer Next Door, who knows? I guess we will see.

I will likely share some “tragedy” from time to time, it comes with the territory, so don’t burn me at the stake the next time it happens. I’m just hoping to have a different priority. A different focus if you will. Maybe I will resort to “falling in line” to surive? I hope not. I guess we will see.

Why do I hesitate to share constant negativity despite the “popularity” that comes with it?

I recently saw another police officer post on social media expressing his desire for a more, “positive police social media group or website”. His point is valid. He spends all day dealing with other people’s problems. He sees tragedy in all forms while at work, the last thing he wants to see when he gets home is more “bad news” on social media. It’s like the bullying crisis we have in our schools today. With social media, it is now possible to be bullied around the clock, not just while at school. Same goes for police officers and their constant bombardment of negativity.

If that officer only knew how badly I want The Officer Next Door to be that “positive and supportive police page”.  Unfortunately, there’s a few problems with that goal.

First, it isn’t easy to come up with stories that are positive. Not because they aren’t happening, they’re just severely under reported. They certainly aren’t self-reported by police officers, I’ve said it many times, they’re too humble to do that.

Second, people don’t tune in to positive. So if you’re a news station, a lowly blogger just trying to spread a message, or someone trying to generate some revenue to do things like donate to police charities, posting and writing stories of positivity sounds great, but nobody will listen. You’ll go broke and basically be talking to yourself.

Half the time, it seems people only read the headline or look at the photo associated with the articles anyway. If they aren’t controversial or sad, they get passed over. I’m still debating what to call this article. I know one thing is for certain, the more controversial or sad I make it, the more readership it will get.

How do I know that we love negativity like we love our apple pie, smart phones, and baseball?

The proof is in the pudding.

I’ve been writing articles on this website for just over six months now. I’ve written articles on a wide variety of police topics. Happy ones, sad ones, thankful ones, short, long, medium ones, news related, original stuff I pulled out of my very own brain, I’ve tried them all.

The most popular? The saddest and most tragic things I can think of, or report on.

You would think social media “groups” or “pages” related to policing would yearn for positivity. I can’t imagine the “non-police” civilian followers on such pages – who no doubt are there to be supportive – enjoy seeing constant negativity either. It has to wear on them like it does our police officers.

So what is my solution? It’s a challenge really.  

Luckily, I’m not just writing to grumble. Unlike most politicians and other ding dongs with a large voice, I present a problem and offer a solution. Novel idea, I know.

Start looking for ways to be a positive supporter of our men and women in blue. Our men and women riding our ambulances, our fire trucks, our military. Any first responder, or public servant. I don’t discriminate.

I challenge you NOT to wait for tragedy, or a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” to speak up and recognize someone for their hard work or job well done.

Let’s put a positive spin on the unfortunately necessary catch phrase, “See something, say something!”

If you see something positive, hear something positive, even think of something positive, message me. You can message me on this website via the contact button. You can find The Officer Next Door on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I have made it rather easy to find me, so please do. I’ll share your positivity as much as I can. Then once I share it, share my posts or article. Use the power of the internet to our advantage.

Just know that I may start posting things that don’t seem as “topic relevant,” especially on my social media pages. I want people to laugh more than they cry. So hang in there if you really enjoy the negativity and sadness.

I hope The Officer Next Door continues to grow and help officers in ways I haven’t even envisioned yet. We shall see.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

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Seth Meyers’ Disgusting Tweet, Dismisses Victims Murdered By Illegal Immigrants

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I have gone to decent lengths to keep this website and my social media pages relatively free of politics. I say “decent lengths”, because inevitably, some topics related to policing are political. The recent suspension of the Broward County Sheriff, for example. It’s political, yet relevant to policing. So I shared the story with my own thoughts mixed in. That’s what I do.

I have avoided politics for a few reasons.

One, there’s enough negativity and squawking on social media and the mainstream media as it is, you don’t need more from me.

Second, it’s divisive. I didn’t create The Officer Next Door to be divisive, quite the opposite. So it stands to reason I avoid such topics like politics to maintain my goal of marching to a different beat.

But sometimes, you need to go against the grain, or even your own rules. So here it goes. Luckily for you, this is more about optics and respect, than it is “politics” so don’t get too upset with me.

As many of you know, the president addressed the nation last night to address the government shutdown and the issue surrounding the border wall funding.

Apparently while doing so, he mentioned the murder of Ronil Singh, a California police officer killed the night after Christmas by an illegal alien. Trump’s exact words were, “America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien, just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country. Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders.”

Much to my dismay, but out of necessity, I covered Singh’s murder extensively as the magnitude of the incident was enormous. For a while, we weren’t sure if the suspect had successfully eluded law enforcement, having little to go on, the sharing of the information we did know seemed vital.

Back to the Meyers debacle. Presumably while the speech was being given and after the murder of Officer Singh and others were mentioned in the president’s speech, Seth Meyers felt the need to tweet the following: “Is this Oval Office: SVU?”

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Wow. I get he’s a comedian, I understand he, like many others in Hollywood hate the president, that’s fine. I really don’t care one way or another about your political views. But this sank to a new level of low. Arguably worse than holding a bloody head portrayed to be the president, or destroying a star on the walk of fame in a fit of unabated rage. “Hollywood” has had egg on their face multiple times in the last few years, no doubt.

However, this is different because it involves people that didn’t ask to be victims. It involves people who have suffered great loss and heartache, they aren’t public figures and therefore, don’t deserve to be comedic punching bags.

I can’t imagine the families of the murder victims the president mentioned were laughing. I can’t imagine any police officer across America found his quip funny in any way possible. I can’t fathom why he would find it appropriate to stoop to that level of disgusting.

My point?

This is the sort of rhetoric that does nothing but create division. It isn’t lost on me that ignoring this tweet may have been a good way to deal with it, but I started this website to stand up for law enforcement, not watch as they are marginalized and kicked around like lowly public servants.

What Seth Meyers tweeted was disgusting. There is no other way to put it. Downplaying the fact that a wife lost her husband and a young baby will never know his father, isn’t funny, it’s disgusting.

The fact that Meyers feels so strongly about a political issue or dislikes the president is completely his prerogative. His job as a comedian and public figure, is to make people laugh and be a role model, I think it is fair to say, this tweet fell well short of that goal.

Some things just aren’t funny. Ever. So this isn’t me being “triggered” or being a “snowflake” as some may feel inclined to say.

This is me standing up for the 800,000+ police officers in our country that risk being the next officer killed while simply doing their job. Every. Single. Day.

People being murdered isn’t funny, under any circumstance. It leaves a permanent void in the lives affected by such crimes. Police officers dying in the line of duty is no laughing matter and I can bet the 148 families that lost their loved one in 2018 would agree.

I won’t call for a boycott. I won’t tell you what television shows to watch and who to support politically, but I will tell you when someone has crossed the line.

One can only hope Mr. Meyers apologizes. He owes it to himself and any fans he may have. Maybe by doing so, he can salvage some semblance of dignity after stooping to a new all-time low for Hollywood. An impressive feat at the very least.

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door