I have been on the unhelpful side plenty of times. I have heard the spiel of "there's nothing we can do" as I sat feeling afraid and alone. I have been stopped and grilled for walking at night in my own neighborhood rather than questioned for why I had no coat and was alone and crying. I have watched as my grandpa's property got ransacked time and again while his security footage of who had done it went ignored. I can understand where animosity comes from.
But I have also met officers that go above and beyond their job. I have had my heart filled with gratitude as an officer stopped to help a young mother whose special needs son was running near traffic. I have had an officer, seeing my fear, reassure me that they would drive by each night and give me their personal number to help me feel some security as the constraints of the laws failed me. I have watched as officers join together on their own time to sit and learn about how they can better help the youth in their community and donate their own money to help fund services. I have seen officers, big and tough, gush and fall over themselves to make my two-year-old smile or find her a sticker simply because she is happy to see them.
Law enforcement is made up of people. They are human. There will be some who are simply at work and some that will go the extra mile. They are going through their own struggles in life just like everyone else. There are plenty that have their own frustrations with where the laws fall short in protecting the innocent. And as with any job in a field designed to help, there will be cases when there is nothing you can do.
Today is about appreciating a group of people who chose an occupation to try to make a difference. It is about recognizing that while the system may be imperfect there are good people doing their best to serve and protect. Today is about focusing on the fruit of the organization and knowing that the seeds still have a chance to grow better. Today is about saying thank you for all the men and women out their doing their best to keep the community its best.
I'm grateful for all the officers that have gone a step above and beyond. I'm grateful for all the good law enforcement does in our community. I'm grateful to know a couple law enforcement people personally and hear their side and see their struggle with being limited on their service. I'm grateful to know that each of the people serving and protecting are human. I'm grateful for the people brave enough to walk the more dangerous aspects of the job. I'm grateful for all the people safe and alive because of their efforts. I'm grateful for the people who have been brought to justice because of law enforcement's hard work. I'm grateful to see my daughter's eyes light up when she sees an officer or lighted vehicle.
What good stories have you heard about your local law enforcement? What positive interactions have you had? Many communities offer events like "Coffee with a Cop" to give the community opportunities for feedback and to get better acquainted with some of their local officers. Have you taken the time to get to know some of the people protecting your community?
May today remind us that while no one is perfect, most people are good. May we recognize all the good that is being done in our communities and the people who work every day to keep us safe. May we find gratitude for those who serve and protect. Have a beautiful day!