I have always respected and appreciated the women and men that choose careers in law enforcement. Their bravery and selflessness are qualities we all should celebrate and admire. They run toward danger while the rest of us are running away. They work traffic accidents at 2:00 AM in the dead of winter. They show up to intervene in crisis situations and deal with the unsavory elements of society many of us will never encounter.
My appreciation for law enforcement officers was recently renewed as I had the opportunity to participate in a ride-a-long with a local cop. I spent a full twelve hour shift observing what a typical day looks like for an officer. The officer made several traffic stops, one arrest, responded to a suspected domestic violence call, assisted other officers, and made a well check at a residence from which a 911 call was made. We were in constant motion all day, barely even stopping for lunch. I was exposed to situations and people that I never would have been without this experience.
The entire day was so worthwhile that I will definitely do it again but there were a couple of things that especially stood out to me. The main thing was how much the officer cares about the people he serves, even the gentleman he arrested. He treated everyone with dignity and respect no matter what rung they occupied on the socio-economic ladder. Another observation was how much he loves his job. He really feels that he is doing something to make his community better and safer. His sense of duty to the citizens in his jurisdiction was inspiring. When the day was done, I thought about how great it would be if more people could have the experience I had that day – to witness a great public servant protecting the community he loves.
It’s an honor to have a job that serves our law enforcement officers all over the state. They do the thankless, exhausting, brutal work the rest of us don’t want to do. So on this Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, I am more thankful for these folks than ever before. Let us salute them today and every day for the work they do to keep us safe!