Dallas PD You’re Not Alone

Written By: CommunityPolicing.com staff
I don't normally post my thoughts or feelings online but in light of the recent violence plaguing our society here is my perspective and feelings after spending an overnight shift getting updates and watching the violence unfold in Dallas and then finally getting off shift this morning.

Every day when I drive to work I leave my home knowing I might not return. I receive a message or a phone call from my mom telling me to be safe and that she loves me because my family knows that I might not return to their loving arms. Every shift I strap on a vest that will only protect me from a small number of things that are meant to do me harm. I put on an ankle holster that holds a tourniquet, combat gauze, and other last resort medical supplies should I face deadly circumstances. I put on a belt that is weighed down by my pistol, extra magazines, pepper spray, baton, taser, flashlight, radio, handcuffs, and other tools. It's both a physical and mental weight that I carry with me throughout my shift. It weighs heavy on my hips causing bruising and discomfort. But it also weighs heavy on my heart and mind. The weight is a constant reminder that I might be called to take a life in order to protect myself or others. It's a reminder that there are people in the world who wish to harm me and others.

I stop cars not knowing who's in them or what I will face when I approach. I answer calls not knowing what dangers await me, where weapons of all kinds have been hidden, used, or will be to varying degrees of harm or death. I willingly place my body, my heart, my soul, and my future between people I don't know and what or who intends to harm them. It does not matter the person's skin color, accent, language, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, place of birth or any of the other millions of other characteristics that make them uniquely individual. I will shield them. I will protect your mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and strangers at all costs.

I've run into buildings after explosions not knowing if another explosion could occur to offer medical aid and attempt to save the lives of those that had been injured. I've run into buildings gun drawn intending to protect others by any means necessary. I willingly give pieces of my heart, my soul, and my innocence every shift I work. I've comforted those that have been seriously injured, I've notified families that their loved ones have perished and will never return home, I've held hands, hugged, cared for, and spoken words of comfort in the face of horrific and life destroying events. I willingly give these pieces of myself to provide comfort, assistance, and help to people I do not know at the worst moments of their lives.

I willingly pay the price and make sacrifices to protect and help others. I give of myself so that others in society can live not knowing of the true monsters that walk among us. So they will never know the devastation that is caused in society on a daily basis. So they may live a happy and blissful life without having truly been touched by the evils and devastation this world has to offer.

I am not the only one who does this. Hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers kiss their families goodbye for potentially the last time, strap on vests, put on uniforms, and carry the ever present weight around their hips and hearts. These officers like myself stand as a resilient and never bending shield, a line, in order to protect, comfort, assist, and help people. We stand ready to help and sacrifice so others do not. That is what being a law enforcement officer means. That is why most of us answer the calling, put on the uniform, give of our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls. We are willing to give up our futures to protect the futures of others.

Our willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice does not mean we won't fight with every ounce of strength, passion, and determination to survive. Do not confuse our willingness to do this job and to make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, as accepting our potential demise. We will fight to make it through to the end of our shifts, we will fight to bring every officer home, and we will fight to make it home to our families and those we love. Just as we fight for the people of the communities we protect.

I do not claim that there are not bad cops or that all cops are good or perfect. We are human and imperfect by design. I will not state that police brutality does not exist. I will not claim that police brutality, excessive use of force, or shootings rooted in racism, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and other forms of discrimination do not occur. These discriminatory action and thoughts are present in all professions and corners of society, not just law enforcement. It is a systemic issue which prevails throughout society and must be addressed but should not be shouldered solely by law enforcement. I will say that the vast majority of law enforcement officers do not condone, support, encourage, or turn a blind eye to these incidents. We attempt to root out those among us that are not fit to wear the uniform, the badge, or carry the shield. We as a community strive to have integrity in everything we do, to protect all we can regardless of our differences, and serve to the best of our ability.

We look to educate and improve ourselves and we do not stand for the injustices we see at the hands of officers we wrongfully believed to be our brothers and sisters. Do not crucify, blame, vilify, or call for the death of law enforcement officers as a whole because of the actions of a few. We as law enforcement officers acknowledge the need for improvement and change. We search for better training and understanding. Society too must acknowledge that just as we do not hold blacks, Muslims, Latinos, or white Christians responsible for the deranged and murderous acts of a few, it is unjust and dangerous to blame hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers for the murderous and bad deeds of a few.
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