When I was a little girl and people would ask me what my parents did for a living I would smile from ear to ear and say, “My daddy is a police officer!” I felt proud to let people know my dad got the bad guys off the street. I am so incredibly happy that I didn’t know the lengths of his job description at such a young age. Being the natural worrier I am, and always have been, I would have been terrified every time he went to work. Due to everything in the media these days, I am sometimes terrified.
Fast-forward to the present, I am twenty-one and just as proud of my dad as I ever was, except I am much more hesitant to reveal what he does for a living. It seems like everywhere you go, and everyone you talk to, there is something negative said about police officers. I cant even begin to explain the nauseating feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I turn on the news and I hear about another slain officer.
I come from a long line of law enforcement and that is something I am and always will be very proud of. It takes a very special, selfless person to put their life on the line for people who don’t respect them. Every single day I fear for my father, uncle, and cousin's lives knowing that there are lunatics out there who are putting targets on their back because of the badge on their chest. It is terrifying to know that there is a possibility they won't come home when their shifts are over.
Growing up, my dad has always been my best friend. He played catch with me, took me ice skating, helped me practice before sports games and took me for ice cream when the games didn’t go well. He gave me pep talks when I was feeling down and always reminded me that a bad day didn’t mean a bad life. He is one of the most loving, whole hearted people I know.
For anyone who doesn’t get the point, I am trying to paint a picture of the man many call a hero and others call a villain. It was my dad who was there for you at two in the morning when someone broke into your home and robbed it. It was my dad who arrested the drug dealer and rapist who would be living on your street.
It is my dad who went into the schools and educated students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It was also my dad who stopped the drunk driver who was putting other lives at risk. Because of my dad everything is a little bit safer, but because of those who say "fuck the police," things are a little more dangerous for him. Don’t worry though, he will still come to your aid when you call.
The next time a police officer comes around, or stops you for doing something wrong, remember who got you into that situation. It is your fault you are in trouble, not my dad’s. Before you go off getting loud and rude with an officer, be polite and speak like an adult. If nothing else please remember he is someone’s son, brother, husband and friend.
To you, he is just another “pig”—but to me, he is my world.