I want to start by saying thank you. To those of you who put on that blue uniform every single morning, who fight for our freedom and safety, who risk your lives day in and day out, thank you. Officers, I promise your service has not been forgotten.

In light of recent events, I’m sure a lot of you feel unappreciated, even hated. Like what you do doesn’t matter. As the police, you try to work for the good of the community, but instead people see you as villains that need to be crushed, beaten down, destroyed. They get mad and, in senseless acts of violence, decide to take their anger out on you. "Look another cop," they say. "They're all alike, and they deserve to be punished." Is this not discrimination?

What these people don't understand is that you are not the problem.

You are not the same officer that shot an innocent man in a car. You are not the same officer who tackled another man, a father, to the ground and unnecessarily took his life. No, these men are not truly officers – they may wear the uniform, they may go work with you every day but they are not the same as you. They don't hold the same values as you, ones that every police officer should have and live by: sympathy, kindness and a respect for human life. When people riot and shoot you, what they don’t understand is that, for every bad cop, there are hundreds of good ones. And even though some officers forget their values, you remember. You know that your position comes with great levels of responsibility and obligation, and you live accordingly.

We're dealing with some hard times. Five innocent officers are dead after what began as a peaceful protest escalated into a sniper shooting. I know this is a mourning time, and you’re probably not specifically looking for validation right now. But thank you. Thank you for keeping constant watch over our community. Thank you for pulling me over when my tail light was out, even though it terrified me at the time. Thank you for catching the criminals who rob and pillage us, so we can sleep at night. Thank you for saying goodbye to your family and going to work every morning, even though you’re not sure what the day will bring. Thank you for doing your job. And thank you for being our heroes.

Even though it seems like the world has given up on you, just know that there are still people supporting you - people who care. We’re grateful for everything that you do, especially in the midst of the terror that is currently going on. Your dedication to protecting the community is unrivaled, and we will never be able to repay you properly. You have shown me and countless other people what it truly means to be brave, and that not all heroes wear capes.

Thank you for all that you do.