OUR VIEW: Celebrate officers in the community
May 9 through May 15 is National Police Week, a seven-day stretch meant to recognize law enforcement officers for the work they do in our community every day. The week is a chance to remember the men and women killed in the line of duty over the last year and allows all of us to reflect on the dangerous job that police officers do on a daily basis.
It’s important to remember that these are men and women who have sworn to serve and protect the general public. They usually work long hours, get paid less than people think and could be subject to danger at any time.
Although community initiatives have helped, most of the general public doesn’t interact daily with police officers. Usually, if a police officer is involved in something in your life, you either got pulled over, got in a wreck or you’re involved in another, potentially criminal, situation. Many of a police officer’s interactions with the public come in stressful situations, which can lead to negative feelings about law enforcement.
Nobody likes getting a ticket or arrested. We have to remember though, that these are people behind the badges. Police officers have wives, husbands, mothers, fathers and children. Most of them, especially the ones in the community we cover, are great people who are just doing their job.
Police officers deal with everything from major crimes — such as homicides and rapes — to disputes in the home or vehicles that were broken into. They might be the first to arrive on a medical call. They also might have to run into a building to try to stop an active threat situation and are trained to do so.
When they get a call over the radio, they never know what they’ll be faced with five minutes later. A patrol stop could turn into a life-threatening situation very quickly, so they always have to be on their toes.
Law enforcement officers see and hear things that most of the general public never have to deal with. It’s important to keep that in mind and to remember the hard work they do patrolling our streets.
Many events normally associated with National Police Week have moved virtually due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic. For a schedule of events, go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website at www.nleomf.org.
If you see a police officer this week, we’re sure they would appreciate a simple wave, handshake or acknowledgment of the dangerous job they perform every day.