You walk out to your car after a long day at work and discover that someone has smashed your windows in an attempt to steal whatever might have been inside. What is the first thing you do? How about when you are driving on the freeway and a car is swerving in and out of traffic, bumping into other cars and showing signs that the driver is impaired. Will you be calling the police? We don't look forward to being victims or witnesses, but just about everyone will admit at some point that it is good that there are law enforcement officers around.
Years ago I dated a police officer, who worried about not seeing me again because of fear of making it safely through a work shift. Can you imagine going to work every day and wondering if you'll survive your to see your family that night? On average, between 100 and 200 sworn officers die in the line of duty each year (including various types of accidents). Additionally 50,000 officers are assaulted in the line of duty each year, and 14,000 officers are injured in the line of duty. It can be very stressful. In fact over 300 officers commit suicide each year.
Yes, there are bad police officers, just as there are bad employees in any field. Think though about all the good our law enforcement workers do and about how they keep us safe. For those most part, it's a thankless job. We expect them to be professional, courteous, caring and yet be ready to protect the public at all times and they must be prepared to make life and death decisions in a moment's notice, yet take an amazing amount of abuse at times. My goodness! Who would want such a job!
In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement officers in several parts of the country, there is even more need to show our police officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all. Today is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Say something nice to a cop. Consider even putting a note or card in the mail to your local police department. Relate a kind experience on facebook or twitter. Above all remember that the vast majority of our law enforcement workers do a fabulous job for which we should all be thankful.