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  • Writer's pictureTroy Riggs

National Police Week--Respect, Honor, Remember

In the history of Law Enforcement, there has never been a more important time to support those who protect and serve. Yes, I will be considered biased, due to serving in uniform for 23 years and being a Chief of two great departments. I also had the privilege of serving as a public safety director in three cities. During this time, I witnessed many acts of bravery, care, and compassion from officers. The uniforms were different, but the commitment to serve was the same.

For 30 years I have focused on public safety and witnessed officers adapt to the scourge of crack cocaine, the violence associated with methamphetamines, terroristic acts and threats, horrific school shootings, rise of mental health issues, aids epidemic, pandemic, natural disasters, and yes, civil unrest. Officers met adversity with action and rose to the occasion each time. Yes, they are protectors of all, but their constant focus was always on those who were struggling, marginalized, and vulnerable. Never once did I witness race, gender, sexual preference, illness or any additional items alter their heroic efforts. They proudly and honorably served while saving lives.

For those who will surely mention issues about policing, let me say there is always room for improvement. I know firsthand that there are those who tarnish the badge. In fact, I have fired officers I felt were not living up to the standards of policing and instituted measures to hold public servants to a higher standard. My direction to the thousands of officers I have been blessed to have under my command was simple: “You are held to higher standard, because you should be held to higher standard. Citizens give you the ultimate authority to protect and to suspend constitutional rights through arrest. These are tremendous responsibilities. As the scripture (Luke 12:48) says, to whom much is given much is required.”

But let us remember that each year:

· officers are killed in the line of duty. In 2020, 264 officers died serving others

· over 30,000 officers are assaulted and thousands more injured

· most officers suffer from mental and physical fatigue

· officers leave their families each day to protect others (there are 240 million 911 calls each year and police are the most likely to respond. This does not include non-emergency calls or self-initiated activity)

· officers protect all, even those who say disparaging remarks or violently protest against them

This is a week where we can stand and remember that policing is still an honorable profession, where integrity, commitment, and dedication are not just words but a matter of personal and professional conduct.

During this Law Enforcement Week, let us remember the policing profession is different from the rest of our chosen careers. When a police officer puts on the uniform and heads to work, this simple act represents their willingness to sacrifice their life and their safety for you and your family. So, please take time and thank our protectors who serve courageously and selflessly each day. They will, literally, take a bullet for you.

John 15: 13

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down

his life for his friends.

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1 Comment

Debbie Cunagin
Debbie Cunagin
May 10, 2021

i will try to go out of my way to show my gratitude. Thank you for your years of service. God bless our emergency responders

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