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What do moms and law enforcement have in common?

By Jewel Pickert, Hastings

Both moms and law enforcement are honored in May. Mother's Day was on May 13. Law Enforcement Memorial Day was May 15.

Besides having a common, celebratory month, both mothers and police officers deserve respect for their time and trouble. I'm sure many of us can remember a time when Mom said, "No, you can't have that" on "No, you can't do that." Moms reign because they make tough decisions with love and don't shy away from what's needed to help develop their children into better people. Moms tend to put others first. For all of these reasons, she deserves your respect.

But don't forget, police officers make tough decisions just about every day, except many of those decisions involve strangers they know little about. Instead of making rules around personal preferences, officers uphold the law. If something doesn't neatly fall into a specific category, they punt. It's called making another tough decision.

I believe police officers really do want people to be at their best. But let's face it. Some people are determined to break the law. Of course, that violation leads to an unwanted interaction with police. Caring mothers don't let their children exhibit poor behavior without consequences either.

Probably the main similarity between moms and police officers is they both have to deal with people. They can't just hole up in isolation and be effective. They work to understand what makes people tick and how best to gain compliance.

Moms get involved in their children's school activities. Police get involved in many community events.

As with any group, there's a learning curve. After new moms learn about all the tricks that can be played on them, they figure out a way to overcome and take charge again. I suspect brand new officers go through a similar cycle.

Both jobs require grit, determination, a dash of stubbornness at the right times, flexibility, discipline and confidence. How else could they deal with so many unpredictable people?

Now, you might think this column discriminates against police, because I keep mentioning mothers first. It doesn't in any way mean police aren't important. Although I've never asked a police officer about his or her mother, I suspect police officers defer to their mothers, just like we do.

Both moms and law enforcement deserve our respect because, quite frankly, they put up with a lot of guff.

As always, I will strive to add a dose of realism, while putting some worth in your while.