Support Our Cops


I’m pretty sure that being a cop is the toughest job there is…or close to it. Partly because it’s so thankless. Did you know there is a holiday commemorating fallen peace officers? I sure didn’t…and I’m married to one. Apparently it’s May 15 and was started back in 1962, so it’s not new. I saw no dedications on Facebook, no inspirational memes, no holiday promotion at the local businesses.
Police do not see the good sides of our society. I mean, think about it, how many people are sitting around with their families, feeling at peace with the world…their children are happy, wives respect them, husbands support them…and think “I should call the cops”. Police do not witness those moments unless it is in their own homes. They witness the grime, the grunge, and the dirt of society. A society that, for the most part, either hates, fears, or dislikes them. Who is pulled over for speeding and greets that officer with joy? How often do shoplifters thank the officer for doing their duty?
The military are considered our defenders (for good reason) and have a great respect from many people. The firefighters are considered the heroes at home…who come to the rescue to save you when you’re in trouble. Not to belittle either profession, they have tough jobs. But it is not thankless. Cops are the guys who come when you don’t want them…like the kid caught with his hand in the candy jar. No one likes to be caught doing what they shouldn’t and no one likes to be told they’re wrong.
Then there are the stereotypes. Officers do not actually spend much time eating donuts. (Although they do love the QT for free beverages). In my husbands department, they don’t have time to sit around profiling, entrapping, or harassing people. They’re running around like mad trying to stay on top of the hot calls, knowing they have several hours of paperwork for that day to finish…not counting the hours of paperwork they were unable to complete from previous days. If that ticket isn’t posted in the 24 hours and you’re all pissy because you’re being inconvenienced…think about the cop sitting up for hours past his shift scrambling to finish reports. But still trying to be thorough because if even one word is off the whole thing could be overturned and their work will have been for nothing. Cops are mediators…they come to deal with that couple or roommates that never get along and somehow must diffuse the situation so effectively that they won’t be called back. They are expected to parent our children, as parents who have no idea how to handle their kids call the police expecting the police to have some magical power to control the kids that they themselves cannot. Police enforce the law, which we like until we break the law ourselves (how many of us have seen some crazy driver speeding, cutting people off, etc and hope they get pulled over, but become angry if we get pulled over for speeding?). They are understaffed, their equipment is subpar, and they never stop working hard to keep their streets safe. They seem to never have days off, as there is always some training to go to, some qualifying test to take, some court appearance to make. They come home late, leave early, and need at least one day to recover before they are fully themselves for their families. These are the sacrifices they make, without so much as a thank you.
It’s no wonder they become discouraged. I’ve heard people refer to them as an organized gang. Because gangs are held to a high standard of behavior, dress, and expression. Gangs have to complete detailed paperwork of every interaction, and if someone complains about a gang member’s behavior that gang member is put under intense scrutiny by a completely different department. Because gangs are held to the standard of the law and if they do not meet those standards they are kicked out. Do you sense the sarcasm yet?
This whole long rant is actually leading up to something. I was getting more and more frustrated at how helpless I was to do something to improve this situation. To show cops that they aren’t the mean parent that everyone wants to avoid, but that people do appreciate their protection. So I have one simple request: write your local department. I don’t care if it’s a letter, a post card, and e-mail, or even a sticky note on their door. Just thank them for what they do, and do it regularly. If you see an officer do something to help someone…mention it. Most departments have a section to refer an officer for a commendation. If enough people started to do this, we could start to change the attitudes towards police officers. So take those few minutes to show a little appreciation…and include your kids. Kids should be raised to trust police and respect them…not fear them.


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