Hot Topic #5: The Police

“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place – police, firefighters, and members of our armed forces.”

~Sidney Sheldon

On Saturday afternoon, I went to Subway to grab lunch before heading to Al’s. As I parked my car, I saw a Chesapeake police car in the lot.

When I walked in, two officers in uniform were there, eating. As I ordered my sub, chips, and cookies, I thought about what they go through every day. What the police forces across the country endure. All the recent protests, riots, and accusations. The calls for justice, and for peace.

As I paid and was getting ready to leave, I saw that I would pass by their table on my way out.  I wanted to take a minute, stop, and thank them for what they do every single day. They serve and protect us, the ordinary citizens of towns, cities, and states.

They appeared to be partners, or maybe they just traveled in the same car to get lunch. They were deep in conversation, and I didn’t want to interrupt. But I made sure to make eye contact with one of them and I smiled.

It made me feel good.

In the last 24 hours, the world watched as Baltimore, Maryland dissolved from peaceful protests into  violent riots. The police did their duty, but over 20 were hurt.

Watching the news outlets and social media over the course of the day today, there were three things that stuck out to me:

Image Credit: The Anti-Media

Image Credit: The Anti-Media

Image Credit: Patrick Nasuta

Image Credit: Patrick Nasuta

Image Credit: B. Scott

Image Credit: B. Scott

I have always admired Dr. King.

However, I’m sure he is turning in his grave right now.

The photo above is part of the Auxiliary Unit of my city’s police department. I feel safe and secure, knowing that there are good men and women, like these people pictured, protecting my neighborhood and my city.

However, I realize that not all cops are stellar.

Being a cop, no matter what town, city, or state, is not easy. These people deal with the worst of the worst, day in and day out. They always have their guard up. They go into work, into their shift, not sure if they’ll come home to their houses or families safely. They work long hours. They have a lot of stress.

Many of us have absolutely no idea what they experience, unless we have family members or close friends involved in a department or on a force. And even then, not a lot want to talk about work.

I just want to encourage you, when you see one, to acknowledge and smile at an officer in uniform. Sometimes, that tiny gesture, one that only takes seconds, can make all the difference in someone’s day.

I know I plan to say “Hi” more and thank them for their service. Most of us do that with members of the military in uniform or veterans – Why should police officers be any different?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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