This past Monday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. According to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), the best way to show support for our nation's law enforcement officers is to:
• Change your profile picture on social media to the .jpg image provided at www.facebook.com/nationalcops.
• Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement.
• Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency.
• Share a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media.
• Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement.
• Participate in Project Blue Light - Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement.
• Organize an event or a rally in support of your law enforcement officers.
• Advertise your support through local media outlets/billboards.
• Post the public service announcement supplied by C.O.P.S. to your organization's webpage or social media pages.
• Most importantly, if you see a police officer, thank a police officer.
The truth: Everyday should be National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It's been a rough time for America's police officers. Just yesterday, a police officer in Orlando, Fla., was shot and killed while trying to apprehend an alleged murder suspect. One of her colleagues tragically died while taking part in the manhunt when his motorcycle collided with another car. In San Antonio, Texas, recently, a police officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Prior to that, two police officers in Palm Springs, California, were shot and killed while responding to a call. There are many other unfortunate incidents as well.
Just as we stop and applaud our military men and women when they are walking through an airport, or call attention to them at sporting events, we must also recognize our nation's police officers. Without them, we wouldn't have the freedom we so enjoy and life would be very different.
Police officers are always on duty, even when they're off. While we sleep, they're awake. When we're out in public having fun, they're watching over us. As we pursue our education, our professional careers and our dreams, they put their lives on the line to make sure we have every opportunity to succeed. When our kids are at school or having fun with friends, they patrol the streets to insure their safety.
The average police officer earns about $58,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But cops don't become cops to get rich. They become cops because they believe in protecting the public. And 99.9% of them perform their duties with courage, integrity and good will towards the people they serve.
Sadly, many of our police officers leave for work, say goodbye to their families and never make it home. These brave men and women pay the ultimate price so we can live free and be safe. It's one of the most difficult and stressful jobs on the planet, yet police officers get a bad name thanks to some rap stars writing lyrics that vilify them, and some professional athletes like Colin Kaepernick who snub them by wearing pig socks and refusing to stand for the National Anthem. It's wrong and uncalled for.
Police officers are heroes and role models. Whether it's National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day or any other day of the year, the next time you see a police officer, thank him or her for their service. There would be no law and order without them and life as we know it would be a lot more dangerous.