There is little glory in being the police in today’s day and age. They are targeted for everything. I could go on for hours about how unfairly they are treated. I have no idea what has come over the citizens of this country, but the police are not out to get you. They do not wake up thinking “Man I really want to shoot someone today.” They do not carry prejudice or hate. They do their very best to keep things fair while upholding the law (that they didn’t even write, by the way). Less than one percent of officers abuse that uniform. Their main goal is to get home alive after spending all shift protecting the community.

So why do we need to support them? Take a minute and imagine how society would be if the police didn’t exist. It would be similar to “The Purge”. Who do you call when your house is broken into? When someone hits your car? When there is an active shooter? These brave men and women run into the line of fire while everyone else runs away. They chase down dangerous people, deliver babies on the side of the road, stop bleeding at an accident sight, comfort children during a domestic abuse call, and so much more. These men and women see the worst of society on a daily basis. They see things that regular citizens would never dream of seeing. They meet people on their worst days. They are punching bags, comfort providers, life savers, targets, therapists, and yes, they are human.

Don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge there are crooked cops. You can’t understand one side without understanding the other. I will say, though, as soon as that cop is discovered, they are treated as criminals. They lose their honor and credibility. Their brothers and sisters in blue no longer associate that officer as one of their own. They are prosecuted if they are wrong. The justice system is not always fair, but there is nothing that a single cop or even a department can do if that cop is/isn’t wrongfully convicted.

They are not our enemies. They are our allies. They didn’t choose to be cops; it’s what they are inside and out. They live and breathe that thin blue line. They deserve the support of the communities they serve. They don’t deserve to be pawns in a political game or targets in a race war. They put that badge on every day with the intent to serve and protect and make it home at end of watch. I am proud to know I will have a future alongside these wonderful men and women someday. The only real way to understand what they go through is to take up that shield yourself. But whether or not you decide to stand behind them, they will continue to answer every call that comes in. They will continue to support a community that may not always support them back. And they will continue to love what they do.

RIP to the 129 brave men and women who died in the line of duty in 2015. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.