This morning I was just getting ready to start a light hearted post about how I have been trying to find my way around in my new community when D. got home from work and asked what had happened in Dallas. I had not watched the news yet and turned it on to hear about the shootings and more of our law enforcement officers killed or wounded.
What I don’t mention or put on Facebook is the fact that D. puts on a law enforcement uniform everyday that he goes to work. He has been doing that since the 1980’s. People have wondered why he has been a mystery person in my life for the past four years. Today explains why.
D. serves as a Detention Officer. He does not work on the streets, but goes to work every day keeping watch over our criminals. No one thanks him for what he does. The public doesn’t see what these men and women have to put up with so they don’t think to say “thank you for keeping us safe” and certainly their “guests” don’t thank them even though often their job includes keeping the inmates safe from other inmates or even hurting themselves.
The Detention Officers also face verbal and physical threats often every day. Twice D. has been physically attacked and injured at his workplace. How many of us have to deal with that day in and day out? YOU have work stress??
Don’t think that our law enforcement officers and their families are not extremely aware of the current situation in our country. Every day that D. leaves for work he knows that wearing that uniform makes him a sitting duck in his car or parking lot or stopping to pick up some groceries. Don’t think that I am not thinking about it as well.
I have friends who are married to or in relationships with law enforcement officers. We are all very proud of what they do in whatever area they serve. It is a shame that we often have to consider what we send out into the public to keep them safe. The huge majority of our officers care deeply about what they do and the people they encounter.
One of the things that I admire most about D. is that he treats everyone with equal respect. I have seen him greet a homeless person and ask him how he is doing just as he would one of my business clients. We once went to a restaurant where a young man who had been a regular at the jail, came out from the kitchen and shook D’s hand and proceeded to tell him how he had gotten off drugs and was turning his life around. Something in the way my husband treated that young man left a positive mark.
Every position has its rotten apples and yes, they need to be weeded out. BUT there is a legal process that deals with these people and innocent lives should not be taken by vigilantes. Our officers know that anything can happen at any moment, but the current atmosphere of hatred and division in our country should not be added to the shoulders of good people trying to do a good job in protecting our lives and property.
Please thank a law enforcement officer this week, pray for their safety and the healing of our country.
Photo/art credit could not be found completely. This is as close as I could get. I will happily add the credit if someone finds it.