I am scared to write this. I am even more afraid to publish this, and am contemplating if I even should. I am married to what is considered a public enemy right now. My husband, my entire heart and soul, is a police officer.
There is nothing I can say or do to convince every person that not every police officer is evil or power-hungry, just like you cannot convince every person that a certain race is not evil or bad; there will always be a fight. There will always be people who oppose events, people who belittle or demean your feelings. There will be people who argue with you even if you presented them with thousands of pages of legitimate proof; for instance, there are people who argue that the Holocaust never happened, despite the massive amount of proof, history, and first-person records of it.
I cannot convince you that every police officer is good, and in fact, I will stand by your side and say that not every one of them is good. There are some that abuse the power, there are some that are shady and corrupt. While the argument comes up that you will find this is true of every profession, police are responsible for lives. Sometimes those lives are taken. Please know that as a proud police wife and as a woman who has insane amounts of empathy and compassion, that when those lives are taken, such as Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, we hurt, too, and we want answers and proper action to be taken to assure that if the officers were in the wrong, then they be prosecuted. We want the bad cops out, too. We want everyone to know that there are so many good police officers left in this world, but they have targets on their backs now.
This is so hard to write and I keep failing on words. I can speak for hours on end of the incredible police I know. Anyone that knows me knows that my husband is my hero. He wears his badge proudly, and I stand in his massive shadow, beaming up at him because I know he is one of the good guys. The vast majority of police are good. They want to help, they want to protect you. They run into the storm when others run away.
Five police officers were killed in Dallas. Five. That means dads, husbands, sons, brothers, uncles, best friends were taken away. Several more were injured. 21 officers were injured in a protest that occurred in Minnesota. It is getting worse. It is getting worse on both ends and the only thing getting accomplished is adding numbers to a growing body count.
What can we do? I have been wondering this. I would love world peace, while others would wish for anarchy. So what we need to do is work together. We can demand that police shootings be investigated and have the officers held to the punishment of the crime. That’s a good place to start. We can teach our children that police ARE there to help us. I can’t tell you how many times my husband’s heart has broken because he answered a call where a child was hurt, or could not breathe. Police cry for the families of the calls they answer.
One night the power in the town went out where my husband works and a call came through of an elderly woman asking for police presence at her house. When my husband got there it turned out that everything was all right, she was just scared to be alone in the dark. He talked with her a while and went around making sure she had everything she needed to get through the storm, and the outage. The main thing is that he could have left the elderly woman that could easily have been your mom or grandma or aunt, but he didn’t.
Police deserve our respect, and we should follow their guidelines just like we would give respect to a teacher and follow the rules of the classroom. If a police officer pulls you over, be respectful. I doubt that the majority of you like having people screaming in your face at your job. So be respectful to the officer, and have respect for yourself. Keep calm. I have been pulled over before and could barely answer the officer through my sobs because I was so upset. I told him I was speeding and deserved a ticket, which he wrote me. I didn’t try to cry my way out of it, I didn’t argue. I accepted that I was in the wrong.
I always have, but especially now, I teach my son acceptance and compassion. It doesn’t matter the color of someone’s skin, if they are nice and friendly, go be friends with them. If you don’t like them, or they are mean to you, don’t be friends with them.
I also have to explain that yes, daddy is our hero, but some people in the world want to hurt him. He thinks of his daddy as the good guy and can’t wrap his brain around why someone would want to hurt the good guy. I have no answers for that. I just pray that we find a middle-ground here. Heated arguments and debates with plans to put into motion, a way to change what we are all angry about. Stricter punishments for police who are found guilty of an unnecessary shooting and police being shot and killed for wearing a badge needs to be handled with as well.
We are nowhere near that yet, though. Until then, I hope people stop killing each other. It is driving wedges further and further apart.
As for me, I will go and sit and wait with my heart in my chest for the door to open and my hero to come in so I can throw my arms around him and thank God that he was kept safe for another night, and pray for his safety for tomorrow.