Today we mark the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. It evolved into the National Day of Service and Remembrance, but is also known as Patriot Day to honor our military and emergency responders.
Not to take away from the other emergency responders, but recent headlines really underscore the debt we owe police officers.
Two St. Louis police officers were recently shot during a gang detail and another was hurt when dragged by a car. Several local child deaths included horrifying details that were tough to read, but must have been much tougher on investigators forced to look closely for evidence.
Then Don Slazinik retired and reflected on his time as a U.S. marshal and O’Fallon’s police chief. He said this about today’s officers: “Police work is very dangerous now. Every time we get out of a car, we follow tactical procedures because so many police officers have been killed. People are more accepting of the fact that they can fight the police or shoot at them.”
Add to the risk the fact that there is video rolling that will allow every move an officer makes to be analyzed and second-guessed. There is potential for them to hesitate, which could mean they don’t go home to their families.
Today would be a good day to reflect on those who choose to protect and serve despite the risks. If you can’t buy an officer lunch or offer one thanks, maybe it is enough to watch your attitude and smile the next time you get pulled over for speeding.
That ticket may not be the highlight of your day, but it may be the least stressful thing that officer is asked to face during her day.