Where Did Respect Go

There are so many issues in America today that really make me angry.  One of the top issues to me though is the war against police.  As an officer’s wife and the sister of an officer I am sure you sit there going “oh well, it affects you so much that is why it makes you angry.”  The fact is though, it should make everyone angry regardless of your connection with an officer.  Here are my thoughts:

I was taught from the day I came into this world to RESPECT the police.  I was scared of the police.  I remember at the age of 16 driving over one of many bridges here in Jacksonville.  I was nervous anyway driving and then realized I was heading in the wrong direction.  I decided to make an illegal U-turn but I didn’t see the police officer sitting there.  Of course, after making the turn I looked in my rearview mirror and saw those lights.  My legs started shaking, my hands trembling, tears began to fall…..all before I had time to pull over and stop.  He was very kind (thankfully) and gave me a warning (which I thanked him for profusely).  But, I was scared of him out of respect for him.  I can look back over my life and the encounters I have had with officers (I might have had a lead foot in my earlier years) and I have always been respectful and appreciative of their service and what they sacrifice.  It was marrying Dennis though that showed me exactly what that sacrifice looks like and I want to share that today.

After Dennis and I got married he was still working the street.  He would basically work 4-5 days on and then 4-5 days off.  They were long days when he worked.  In fact, I worked a regular 8am-5pm job and he worked a shift of 1:30pm-1am.  So, the days he worked we didn’t see each other.  We were ships passing in the night.  He would get ready for work and I would call it getting into “police mode.”  His personality would change once he put that uniform on.  Not in a bad way, just a confident and serious way.  He took and still takes his job extremely serious and his philosophy has been and continues to be to come home after his shift safely.  I remember after we got married begging him to get off the street.  I hated the shift and I was scared for him every time he walked out that door (and this was 17 years ago….imagine what it would be like today if he was still on the street).  We hadn’t been married long and he put in a transfer to Detective Division and he has been there ever since.  Of course people hear “Detective” and they think he is safe.  So let me clue you in on what he has done in his Detective career.

There have been many nights of staking out a business (especially when he was in Robbery).  There was the dreaded night-shifts, serving warrants, dealing with the scum of the earth (kinda what he does now in my opinion).  Did you know that while your kids were safely out trick-or-treating last night my husband was driving around to Sexual Predators homes to make sure they were in compliance and not passing out candy or having lights on or decorations to entice kids to come to their home?  Most people don’t realize the behind the scenes of what a lot of officers do to ensure yours and your children’s safety.  I have always said that the cops on the street are the ones directly in the line of fire.  They are in marked units and in uniform.  I have the utmost respect for our street officers, but also our undercover officers and detectives.  Do you know the danger some undercover officers have to put themselves into to get the bad guys off the street?  It is some scary stuff.  Things  you don’t hear about and you can’t ever get the real picture by watching TV shows (that isn’t reality).

Our officers, men and women leave their homes every morning, afternoon or evening KNOWING full well what their mission is and what they have to do.  They take a sworn vow to protect and defend; even if it costs them their life.  Let that sink in.  Most officers I know are married and/or have families that they leave behind each day to go into an evil, crime-ridden world to protect and defend innocent STRANGERS.  WHO does that?  Can you even fathom not having that protection?  I can’t.  I never want to live in a world without the police.  I never want to be in a situation where there is no one to call for help.

I also never want to get that call where something has happened to my husband or my brother.  BUT, that is the reality I face every.single.day especially in this day and age we live in.  Kids nowadays aren’t being raised to respect the police; heck there are so many adults who don’t respect what that shield means.  We have people running for government offices who don’t respect them (Case in point…..Andrew Gillum who is running for Florida Governor has ZERO respect for law enforcement and it will be horrific for Florida if he wins).  Killing cops has become what seems to be a favorite pastime for criminals.  People don’t care anymore when an officer is shot or killed; it is just business as usual but that shouldn’t be the case.  I take it personally every time an officer is shot or killed in the line of duty because I know that could have been my loved one.  The videos of disrespect and hate that surface are difficult to watch…..in fact when I see someone fighting the police it makes my blood boil.

I have said many times that I know there are some bad cops just like there are bad doctors, lawyers, politicians (okay that is a lot), nurses, teachers, electricians, car salesmen, etc….every profession has a few bad apples but you don’t blame the entire profession.  I send my husband out every.single.day praying for his safety and yes I am counting down the days to his retirement (11 more months).  I KNOW what he does each day and I know the types of people he has to deal with.  It is unsettling to me but I am proud of him, the profession he chose and his heart behind his chosen profession.  You see, he always wanted to be a police officer.  As a young boy the career chose him and he has done it well, just like all the other officers I personally know…..they do their jobs and they do it well.  With hearts and souls willing to sacrifice it all.  There are 3 professions that I can think of that put their lives on the line to protect you and me.  Our military, our law enforcement and our fire fighters……where is the respect for those men and women in today’s society?  It has become non-existent especially in so many of our celebrities and politicians views.  People like to throw the “bad apples” in my face and the face of society.  There is WAY more good, kind, compassionate officers than bad ones.  We need to teach our children respect for those protecting and defending us…..heck, I know some adults who need to be taught that same respect because the fact is without these men and women there would be NO law, no order and our world would be in chaos; more so than it already is.

Take it from this wife and sister……our loved ones make many sacrifices for YOU and your family…….I am so sickened by the lack of care and concern that many Americans have for those willing to pay the ultimate price for our safety and our freedom.  Law Enforcement Officers are not the problem in this society people with lack of respect and concern for human life are the problem……this brings me to my next blog post tomorrow……..

Until next time…….

 

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