Blue Light Heroes

Our courageous law enforcement offices, at the federal, state, and local levels, are the first-line of offense for the preservation of area tranquility and safety, and the first-line of defense against the dangers and damage of anarchy (eg., current Paris).  If all of our citizens were nice, well-behaved, peaceful, and kind, all of the time, we might have no need for our law enforcement.  The vast majority are, but too many aren’t. Thus our 24/7 need for the buffering and protection that our law enforcement officers provide us.

For all levels, from ICE to border patrol, and our other federal security forces, to those who patrol our county roads and four-lane highways, to our neighborhood police on the beat, it goes without saying, as we all know, the law enforcement profession is dangerous.  Whether intercepting drug and human smugglers at the border, or confronting armed robbers, or tracking down/apprehending murderers, rapists, and other determined criminals, or responding to a domestic disturbance; in general, confronting the unknown danger that too often lurks at the scene of the call, this is the expected everyday roll and responsibility of the courageous men and women of law enforcement who work hard, continually, to keep us safe and secure, within our workplace, public venues, our streets, and in our homes.

And today, our law enforcement professionals face an increased risk of harm, or worse, answering calls during their shifts, due to, among other reasons:  the societal-sector decrease in respect for authority (police, teachers, principals, and sometimes adults in general); the increase in easily-acquired weapons; increased use/availability of judgment-altering narcotics; copycat acting-out of violence seen via TV, movies, & games; mental illness; and, possibly sometimes related, the rise among a segment of our society who’ve chosen to adopt the “victim” mentality and response, as a way of self-justifying, and then satisfying, their rage,  resulting in the violation of laws, some misdemeanors, but too often felonies.

Bottom line: It goes without saying, but needs to be said for purposeful reinforcement: law enforcement work, by its very nature, as just indicated in part above, is a dangerous profession.  An accountant can kiss his spouse and kids good-bye in the morning, and then, barring an extremely unlikely event, fully expect to arrive home again that evening.  A law enforcer, on the other hand, can kiss his spouse and kids good-bye in the morning, with the hope that he or she will arrive back home safely that evening, but knowing full-well that his/her family could, instead, end up seeing their loved next at the hospital or the funeral home.

Vivid case in point, in 2018, America lost 148 law enforcement officers while on duty (in order of largest causes, most to least: gunfire, vehicle crash, heart attack; and then, most unusual, two Chicago officers, you’ll recall, responding to a call, were stuck and killed by a train in mid-December).

That’s an increase nationally of 9 officers from 2017, but 14 fewer than were killed in 2015.  Last year (2018), Georgia lost six officers, South Carolina five.  So far in January, 2019, our nation has already lost 3 police officers (one each in Arizona, Ohio, and Utah).  Often overlooked, but not to be forgotten, during the Year 2018, 27 brave police K-9’s also perished in the line of duty.

We are so very fortunate and grateful that so many of our neighbors choose to step forward and make law enforcement their career.  Accepting the potential danger, but gaining satisfaction from the opportunity to help so many citizens in need every day, within our communities, states, and nation.  And very sincere thanks to the spouses and families for their steadfast support and for always being there to great and cherish your officer in “blue.”

On this National Day of Appreciation (which should be every day of the year), thank you, men and women of law enforcement, for accepting the risks while opting to “Serve and Protect” with honor. You are the ones, 24/7–365, who stand strong for all of us, making the vital difference between a peaceful, civil society, and one torn apart by the evil of anarchy.

(Fatality figures via Officer Down Memorial Page (odmp).org).