When I was growing up, I was like so many other kids, dreaming of being a firefighter like my dad or a police officer like Jim Reed from Adam 12. Looking back, I can say I was blessed to have done both. Just think about it. One day fighting fire and the next fighting crime. Dreams really do come true.
What I never saw coming was the disrespect and, in some cases, the hate, for those serving in law enforcement that I see today. Please understand, I was aware of the negative feelings that some had for the police back then. It comes with the job of being a “cop.” Nobody wants them until the wolf comes knocking at their door. But those haters back then were much smaller in number and the seriousness of their hate was never like is today.
As a firefighter we’ve always had it easy when it came to public perception. Yes, a little tougher now, but the public always viewed us as the “good guys” and those cops as mean, uncaring people with bad attitudes. And both sides have always had fun with it. As for the public’s comments regarding law enforcement, it was always “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Today, those serving as police officers see more sticks and stones than ever before, and some of the stones kill! Yes, both professions are extremely dangerous and those who raised their hands and took an oath to protect and serve knew it when they did. But what police officers are going through today, well, I’m not so sure I could do it.
They’re not in it for the medals and definitely not for the pay and they don’t want you to feel sorry for them. Just appreciate them a little more. To be honest, the majority of the people that do the hating could never do what a police officer has to do. They don’t have it in them. They couldn’t hack it and would run the other way when the wolf came a-knocking. Keep in mind it’s easy to hate. That’s the easy way out, and nowadays with social media it’s even easier to be a hater because you don’t have to have the guts to show your face to those you trash. Where I grew up, that was called being a coward.
But to be a police officer it takes courage, honor, and something those who hate could never do, and that is support and promote family values, the very foundation of what is good and right in this country!
Now, to all of my fire service brothers and sisters, we need to reach out to those in our law enforcement family and support them more than ever. A lot of you are doing just that, and that is awesome, but they need those in the firehouses to have their backs more than ever. Take time to make sure that those who you work with respect the job a police officer has to do and honor them the same way you want firefighters to be honored. We are all about family, and family sticks together! Whenever any of us go through a tough time in life, many of us turn to the first family, the one at home, for support and comfort. Those who do understand and know that “blood is thicker than water,” and that’s where you turn when the going gets tough. The same goes for those of us in public safety. When one of us is going through a tough or bad time, we turn to those we work with for the support and help we need to make it through. That’s what a family does. We stand by each other. Now more than ever we need to stand by our brothers and sisters in blue.
Hey, all of us have a few bad apples and, yes, law enforcement does too, but you also see them in some of our schools, hospitals, city halls and in just about every profession you look at. Yes, we even have them in the fire service. But wherever you look, those bad apples are the few and far between and the numbers are small.
What they do have in law enforcement is a group of people that stand between those who are bad and those who are good, protecting the good from harm and standing at that post so you can sleep well at night knowing that you and your loved ones are protected. I know my wife and I sleep well knowing that in Lewisville, Texas, we have one of the best police departments in the country watching over us long after our heads hit the pillows. For that, each and every one of us needs to thank God that there are people dedicated enough to serve in that role. Imagine a country without law enforcement. To be honest I really don’t want to. It scares the hell out of me!
In closing, so I guess maybe it’s time to see a few more hash tags like #backtheblue and #wehaveyourback. A few more blue lights on the front of our residences or just something as simple as saying “thank you” the next time you see a police officer. They need us, but more importantly, we need them. God bless all of those serving in law enforcement and please keep them safe. Here’s to more kids still staying “When I grow up, I want to be a police officer.”
Be safe and let me know what you think.
If you’d like to have Chief Lasky out for a presentation, please contact him at www.PrideAndOwnership.com