These are dark days in America, and around the globe. Here at home, police officers are being targeted for assassination while elsewhere, crowds of innocents are also being chosen for mass killings. This darkness seems to be advancing, drowning out the twinkling lights of human kindness, diversity and love.
However, we as citizens can stand strong and help each other to nourish those lights. In my life, I’ve chosen to more overtly honor the thin blue line protecting all of us. I have contributed to and worked with groups who have donated money and morale-raising treats to various police departments, including our own Hurst PD. I strongly endorse such activities, and in fact hope that honoring the police will continue far into the future, beyond the current antipathy of some toward those who wear the blue. I would love it if people didn’t need a tragedy to occur in order to pay homage to those who put their lives on the line for us each day.
These past few weeks, the deaths of police officers have hit close to home for me. First, officers were attacked and five were killed in our neighboring city of Dallas. One of my high school friends, who belongs to the Honor Guard in Utah, came to support the officers here in Texas as they laid their friends to rest. I was lucky enough to see him while he was here, and I just couldn’t help but fear that it could be him next, targeted simply because of his uniform. Then it happened again in Baton Rouge, and in Kansas, and in San Diego. Another high school friend was attending the officer funerals in Louisiana at the same time that the attack in California happened. Again, more fear for my friends on the force. Fear for my family, who lives in Louisiana. Fear for my friends in the National Guard and in the military, who are only one step removed from this kind of hate. Fear for us all.
I firmly support the police and what they do. They stand against the fear.
In response to some of the critiques being aimed their way, I say that if individuals are found to have violated their oaths to serve and protect, and have chosen to misuse their power, then those individuals should absolutely answer for their choices just like any other citizen.
However, as a country, I believe we need to realize and stand up for the fact that most police officers (like firemen, city employees, teachers, and all those who work for the public good) are called into a mission field. They don’t choose this career in public service to abuse public trust, but rather to serve the public. In exchange, we pay them poorly (in comparison to what they could earn in the private sector), disrespect them, and use them as the punchline to tactless jokes.
Let’s not do that. Let’s not let the fear win. Let’s encourage the twinkling lights instead of contributing to the darkness. Be respectful of the police. Teach your children to show them honor. Thank them in public and in private. Wear blue ribbons. But know that your actions are worth more than all your ribbons or words.
Support the police in concrete ways. Vote to give them the money their department needs to keep you, your family and your neighbors safe. Take a moment to shop through AmazonSmile, which is a part of Amazon that donates money to a designated charity each time you buy something, costing you nothing. I mark my donations for Dallas’ Assist the Officer Foundation. Join me in donating to help injured police and the families of those killed in the line of duty at atodallas.org/donate. Vote for public servants who truly support law and order, not just those who give lip service.
We can’t affect everything. The darkness around the world and across the nation is much out of our control. However, within our little bubbles, we can affect the public reputation of the police, and our public support of them. I encourage you to participate in keeping the darkness at bay, by continuing to feed the twinkling lights in our lives.
If you will join me in supporting our police, you can follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CityofHurstPD, and to learn more about why I’m serving on the Hurst City Council, Click Here to see the recent interview on Good Morning Texas.