Letter: Say ‘Thanks’ the next time you see a uniformShe is a mother of two boys, one of them is a deputy in a sheriff’s department and the other is just about ready to finish school and will soon be attending the academy and follow in his brother’s footsteps.
To the editor,
She is a mother of two boys, one of them is a deputy in a sheriff’s department and the other is just about ready to finish school and will soon be attending the academy and follow in his brother’s footsteps.
They are not in Minnesota. They live and work in one of the most criminally active counties in a different state. The one son patrols an area that is rural. He does this alone. If he needs to call for backup, it could take minutes before another officer arrives for help.
She is aware of this and she has accepted this. It is a reality in their lives as it is in thousands and thousands of families across this nation.
I talk to her on the phone and by consequence her boy is leaving for his night shift job out patrolling the streets in their community.
There are always the last words spoken: “I love you hun, please be careful.”
A bit of silence then ensues and she continues on with the conversation. That silence is a mother’s concern for her son.
We hear and see these unfortunate incidents of alleged police brutality. And under no circumstances should this be allowed nor condoned by society. It is just not acceptable and cannot be tolerated.
But let us not allow these incidents to overshadow the service they give to us day after day.
They literally put their lives on the line every time they get in that patrol car and start their shift. It is of consequence that this country is armed —firearms are as common as bread and butter. Most nations are appalled by this fact and our statistics warrant it.
But I am not writing this for a debate on the merits of the second amendment.
My direction here is the focus on the things law enforcement does, which we all kind of silently take for granted. They protect us, they protect our children, our homes and our very lives.
The vast majority of our law enforcement community is made up of good people who have chosen an occupation that serves and protects the public. The sad fact is that we get an incident and every one of them is conceived as being in that tiny pool of unethical cops.
And in many cases, after all the facts are out, the scenario changes, the public and media settles down and with good reason. Picture yourself on a dark night, all alone, pulling over a car that has tinted windows and the occupant is reaching around, opening the glove compartment or reaching under the seat. Perhaps he is just looking for his wallet and license.
It is your job to approach this car and find out what the situation really is.
You are thinking about the wife and kids waiting for you at home and you only have a few hours left on your shift.
But you must do your duty.
Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand these situations from their perspectives.
Think about the times they have come to your assistance and given you or a loved one a helping hand or a gesture of compassion.
They do this every day and most of the time without recognition. I, for one, am grateful.
That mother I talk about is my girlfriend and like every mom she is concerned.
Her worries are of a different nature. A far more dangerous nature. But along with that comes the pride of knowing her boys are out there doing their duty as they see fit. A duty to serve and protect.
I have come to the mind that it is an honor for me to be a witness to this all.
Next time you see a uniform you might just want to tell them “Thanks.”
You don't have to tell them why. They will understand.