Our Law Enforcement Officers are being murdered as well as laying down their lives on duty every 58 hours. They are being shot while sitting at traffic lights. Executed in coffee shops and on their lunch breaks. Lured into ambushes and blown away while removing debris from the roadway, or while responding to an alarm call which was a set up. They are being killed in their own driveways, while off duty. They are being shot inside their own precincts.
If celebrities or professional athletes were being targeted, shot and murdered to the tune of one dead every 58 hours there would be an instant demand for answers and protection. There would be a national cry to stop the violence before it impacted reality tv or sports center.
Regardless of proven statistics which tell us otherwise, our officers continue to get blamed as a whole for the actions of less than one percent*. Regardless of common sense in a world where we have all encountered a bad mechanic, doctor, plumber, we blame ALL cops for the few. Regardless of countless corrupt priests, teachers, crooked judges and lawyers, we do not condemn their entire profession, it's asinine to even consider. But with law enforcement, it is instant condemnation of all.
What exactly does an officer have to do for you to say his/her life has worth? What will it take for you to see the family waiting at home, praying theirs isn’t the next officer down? What will it take for the citizens of this country to say without them, who will make these sacrifices? Will you? Are you ready to be the target? Are you ready to line up your family and friends and know one of you will not come home every other day?
Our law enforcement officers are humans. When will it be enough to say something’s got to give? Even for those who hate the police….you’ll be the first to dial 911 when you need them and you will expect them to run lights blazing to your rescue, after all, you pay their salary.
What happens when they say, sorry, it’s too dangerous, you’re on your own. You hate us anyway, so do as you see fit. YOU stand in front of the bullet and protect your own family. You pry your mangled wife out of the wreckage you caused while drunk and give her CPR in front of your children. You stand in the pouring rain in the dead of night on an expressway and protect your own car from being hit by a semi until the tow truck gets there. You unlock your own car you left your keys in. You change your own tire when 8 months pregnant in 102 degree heat. You stand in front of your own abusive husband and his weapon and his fist and tell him to leave your home without harming you.
You get in your own car and race to stop someone who stole from you or hit your car a few miles back. You enter your neighborhood store and approach a masked man with a shotgun and reason with him not to kill you or those in the store. You go knock on the neighbor’s door who has a warrant, a house full of weapons and a sign on the door that says “don't tread on me”.
You watch for drunks out of control on the highway in an ice storm. You pray they don't kill you. You respond to suicide calls and cut teenagers from makeshift nooses in their garages or scrape their brain matter out of the soles of your boots. You tell their parents what happened while they were out socializing, again.
You walk into a house with no power in 105 degree heat containing the bodies of an entire family, including babies, now maggot infested and unidentifiable by anything other than the stench of rotten death. You walk up to cars who have nearly run you off the road only to be met with a gun in your face and no time to react.
You try and coax a brutally beaten and savagely raped teenager the same age as your own daughter out of the closet where she was left to die as she holds a knife to her own throat. You convince her tomorrow will be better.
You hate the police? You have no use for them? You think they’re worthless? Do it yourself. Worry about it all on your own. You surely can do better. You surely are wiser than those lazy, corrupt, doughnut eating fools you don’t give the time of day to when you hear they were gunned down while you went on about your business. Please, give them a rest and do it yourself.
You might want to hug your family and have your affairs in order before you head out, there's a very real chance you’ll never make it home, of course that’s no big deal….you signed up for that, and my tax dollars allow me to ignore your worth. After all, you're just a cop.
Oh, and you sure as hell better do it all perfectly, every single time. After all, you're not human anymore. You're just a cop. No one cares if you get it right...but you sure as hell better never get it wrong...because a good cop who did get it right will get his head blown off in an entirely different state if you screw up. That goes for you too, by the way. Better pray all 740,000 do right by that badge today, if not... It's all on you, because all cops are bad cops, right?
Melissa Littles, Founder
The Police Wife Life, LLC
*statistics based on FBI full year crime data reports based on latest three full years ended in 2012.
**please be advised the reference to "don't tread on me" is not a political statement or opinion. It refers to a real life incident where officers responded to a domestic call which turned out to be a Marine vet/former police officer with PTSD. That sign let those officers know they were possibly dealing with one of their own, and sure enough they were. The subject opened fire through his front door, wounding one officer in the head. The point in mentioning the sign was to show that our LEOs encounter all walks of life, and sometimes they even encounter one of their own, and even in that scenario...they must do their duty diligently.
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