Today is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, for some, the perfect time to shower your favorite officer with accolades for their bravery. For others, a time to revisit all the times the life of a POC was cut short, courtesy Mr. Officer. Too many times.
On this day, I challenge you to think higher. We don’t have to choose a side – F#@! THE POLICE or BLUE LIVES MATTER – we can think of officers as individuals, and not as the inherently biased and sometimes racist group they’re often perceived to be.
Cops are everyday people too. Some are garbage; others are gold, taking their pledge to protect and serve very seriously. When you hear about the rubbish, remember for every dirty, filthy, trifling pig, there’s an upstanding officer of the law out there who swore the oath because he/she wanted to make a positive impact on our society. Let’s stop punishing the good officers for what the awful get away with. When you read about an officer in a standoff, and it ends peacefully, resist the urge, no matter how valid, to scream about past injustices. At the end of the day, an officer who exercises restraint, especially in a life-threatening situation, should be commended for a job well done.
It’s a sad day in America when black and brown children are suspicious of the folks who are supposed to help keep their neighborhoods safe. Yeeeeees, precincts, PLEASE hire more officers of color, require sensitivity training, and for God’s sake do your due diligence and make sure you’re not hiring someone who sees the badge as an opportunity to literally get away with murder. But do more than that – hold police officers accountable at the first instance of misconduct. Shouldn’t protecting individuals be more important than protecting a tarnished shield? I digress.
Today is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. For the men and women who put their lives on the line, who protect and serve, who use a gentle word over a baton, who understand the power they have, yet refuse to abuse it – thank you. For the vermin who infiltrate, using the badge as a means to carry out corruption – may you reap what you sow down to the fourth generation.