These are the police officers that I know.
Here are the ones who recover an infant, dehydrated and starving, from an abandoned building that is sweltering sans electricity in the August heat. Here are the ones who transport the infant to the emergency room to receive the care not tendered by a neglectful mother.
Here is the one struck to the core by a heartbroken preteen who has just had her bag, including her iPod, stolen. Here is the one who took up an immediate collection among his fellow officers and before day’s end presented the girl with a brand new music player and accessories.
Here is the one who collects stuffed animals to give to children at the local domestic violence shelter. Here is the one who brings bags full of warm clothes to the homeless shelter. Here are the ones who participate in “shop with a cop” programs, giving underprivileged children the money and the opportunity to buy holiday gifts. Here are the ones who give their time (what is left of it after twelve hour shifts) to coaching youth sports.
Here are the ones who rescue all manner of injured, abused, and neglected animals. Here is the one who gently holds a bird with a broken wing, or a cat that has been shot with a BB gun, or a dog so starved it cannot stand on its own.
Here is the one who sits in a hospital waiting room, offering what consolation and comfort he can to the family of a young boy who has just drowned. Here is the one who holds the hands of a rape victim as she undergoes the traumatic, invasive tests. Here is the one who calms a distraught lost child, separated from his parents. Here is the one who is given the burdensome task of knocking on doors to inform people that their loved ones will return home no more.
Here are the ones who toss and turn night after night, restlessly reliving the atrocities they have seen. Here are the ones who cannot stop visualizing the aftermath of a horrific traffic accident. Here are the ones who have recurring dreams of the scene where a young female took her own life by shotgun. Here is the one who will never forget watching a fellow officer shot in the face and killed in the line of duty just days after Christmas. Here are the ones who stand vigil year after year in the fallen officer’s honor.
Here is the one who sits in the waiting room for hours so that his can be the last face his wife sees before, and the first face she sees after, undergoing surgery. Here are the ones who experience the joys of watching as their son hears for the first time with the aid of a cochlear implant. Here is the one walking his daughter down the aisle. Here is the one watching with pride as her son graduates from the academy, carrying on a family tradition. Here are the ones who look upon their sleeping children and wish that the world was a far less scary place.
Here are the ones who miss birthdays, sporting events, and school plays. Here are the ones who work on Thanksgiving…and Christmas…and Easter. Here are the ones who leave their families to protect yours.
These are the police officers that I know. They are the husbands and the wives, the fathers and the mothers, the sons and the daughters. They are the uncles and aunts, the nephews and nieces, the friends and neighbors. They are the guardians. They are the protectors. They are the ones who run toward while others run away.
These are the police officers that I know. Please take the time to get to know them so that they may be the police officers that you know.
Disclaimer: This post is not meant in any way to be a political statement. It is personal observation only. As always I encourage and welcome comments. Discussion is welcome and disagreement is acceptable. Please be respectful and thoughtful.