January 9th is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
Did you know January 9th is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day?
It's a great time to take stock of all the hard work and dedication your own city police force do to keep you safe.
From local, state and federal, their duties command dedication. The jobs are often thankless and take them away from their families for long hours. Rarely do they know what their days have in store for them.
Just imagine this for a second...
It's 3:00 a.m. and you bounce out of bed from a deep sleep to the sound of your back door being kicked in. The first thought for the vast majority of Americans is to call 9-1-1.
At this point your expectations are "please hurry" – "save my family's lives" – and "I don't want to die." All very understandable emotional responses to a home invasion.
Now, put yourself in the position of law enforcement having just received this 9-1-1 call for distress.
What questions are running through this officer's mind?
- Are there lives at risk?
- Is the intruder potentially deadly, under the influence, mentally hazardous, armed?
- Do I have backup?
- What is the floor plan of the home?
- Will I get in trouble? Is my life at risk?
These are just a few of the questions law enforcement officers ask themselves every time they answer a call. Really, every time they gear up for a shift.
So, walk in those shoes for a minute before you judge or discount what our men and women in law enforcement have to face every time they show up for duty.
I have yet to meet the perfect person. Mistakes are made in every walk of life, including the SEAL Teams and law enforcement.
I also have yet to meet someone who has decided to pursue a career in law enforcement – including close friends and family members – that did so with malicious intent.
To a man and woman, they simply "Wanted to protect, defend, and serve." It surely isn't for the money!
My advice when dealing with law enforcement
Whether you've just been pulled over for speeding; or have found yourself as a hostage during a bank robbery, I highly suggest you follow this advice. Understand that law enforcement is responding to an unknown situation that could result in that officer's death.
Responding law enforcement often has NO idea what they are walking into. And for their own self-preservation each one must approach every situation with the highest degree of alertness. Help them do their job.
- Show the highest degree of respect.
- Don't make any sudden or aggressive movements.
- Ask permission before any actions.
- Don't pose a threat!
- Put them in their comfort zone.
Every organization makes mistakes. How would you live your life under a microscope?
Imagine having to put on a body cam every time you clocked into work...
Now I have personally had issues with law enforcement that I felt were unjust. There is a path for dealing with this, but when you find yourself in any situation with law enforcement, I highly advise you follow the steps above.
And again, be honest and ask yourself, “Would I trade places with this officer?”
This might give some clarity. And let's be honest, if you were speeding... you got caught and it's only your fault. It's time to face the music.
God Bless Our Folks in Blue.
Be a survivor... not a statistic,
Former Navy SEAL / 4Patriots Contributor