Let's talk about the other elephant in the room. It stands out like a sore thumb and no one says anything. If we say something we are silenced, we speak up, but then they scream. The elephant in the room is police.
I have written about the man behind the badge but let's talk about the family behind that badge. I believe I am in the perfect position to speak of this. For as long as I can remember, my dad has protected me. Now, my dad is a large and tall man, so who is going to protect him? I may not be able to stand between the spitting, cussing and yelling, but my writings and words can.
It is time we put a name with a face and a family with a person. These officers are not killers or robots trained to assault, they are real people with families of their own. As kids of the people who are insulted and called "pigs," we respectfully have some things to say.
Ever since Ferguson, yes, I said it, law enforcement officers' jobs have become more dangerous, Paige Biser said, "When hearing about other officers that have been killed, there's always a thought that it could have been my mom."
The worry that your parents will not return from their 12-hour shift is painful.
Many kids do not understand the heartbreak of celebrating your sixteenth birthday with everyone in your family but your dad because he is on a call with a hostage crisis. The feeling hangs in the room, everyone thinks it, but does not want to say it: what if my dad was hurt or killed? Yes, we understand they signed up for this knowing at the end of the day they could not return home, but while it's scary, we are proud that they do it selflessly.
Most kids have other fears and it's uncommon for kids to fear their parent's job, but not me. I fear to hear my parent's last radio call, hearing bagpipes and seeing a flag draped across a casket. The fact that these men and women would take the bullet without hesitation makes them heroes.
They would take a bullet for someone they did not know, they would make the ultimate sacrifice. Sometimes, it isn't fear they are hated, it's fear when they go on a police chase. When a criminal is armed in a robbery or chasing the officer at risk, it's now any call. However, an officer has a job as well to return to their families at the end of the shift.
10 years ago, a traffic stop was just a traffic stop, but not anymore. They are targeted for wearing a badge and a blue uniform while they are just doing their job. There have been traffic stops reported where an officer is targeted and ambushed just for being a cop. If a person was assaulted or killed just for what they do, wear or are, that's a hate crime.
The definition of a hate crime is defined as "a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin," according to the FBI. While some states have classified killing a law enforcement officer as a hate crime, other states have not.
If you follow word for word the definition of hate crime, law enforcement does not fall in any of those categories. However, a hate crime is a bias crime, isn't killing an officer because of hatred being bias? I won't harp on hate crimes because that is not what my story is about but think about it.
Another thing no one understands, besides military and first responder children, are holidays. On Easter, Christmas or Thanksgiving most families gather together to celebrate. Police officers, along with other first responders, can not just take off because crime and emergencies don't take a holiday. There are still crimes on Christmas morning or during Thanksgiving turkey, so while you sit around your table with family, take time to pray for those absent at other families tables. When a holiday occurs and every member of the family is home, we aren't just celebrating the holiday, we are celebrating togetherness.
I wish I could sugar coat the fear and talk about the handful of positives but the negatives outweigh them at times. It seems in today's world, we can talk about what we think is the 'hard stuff' but are we really? No, we are talking about what is popular or what most people agree with. However, nothing is popular about a hero dying and telling his kids their dad or mommy won't return from that call. Now, that is the hard stuff.
They do this job willing to stand between good and evil, they do it without thinking. They have a plan, but it is the actions of the criminal that scares L.E.O. kids. If I can change one person's mind, that is enough to change another and save that family from hearing the last radio call.
I want to change the world's view of how they see law enforcement, even if it is one person at a time. I typically try to avoid raw stories, but this is as raw as they get. Since it is the elephant in the room, this story was not meant to be happy, it was meant to address something we ignore. As a thin blue line family, to hear that people support our family and parents makes a
difference. After reading this article, if you have had a change of heart I'd love to hear it. If you were moved, I'd love to hear it. If you have not had a change of heart, let's open up a conversation, lets talk about it.