Today, January 9th is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. The day was first celebrated in 2015 as a way to recognize officers of every rank and file for the sacrifices they make every day. Certainly in the last 10 years, public opinion of law enforcement has taken a PR hit due to highly publicized police shootings. That is where the spirit of a day like this comes from. I grew up around police offers and saw that they were just normal people like me and you. The biggest difference was their willingness to risk their lives for people they don’t know. In 2018, 106 officers died in the line of duty. More than half of those died at the hands of another human, their lives were taken by someone with ill intent. I sit here at my desk after finishing a radio shift and feel like I’ve put in a solid days work but I didn’t have to chase someone who just stole a car, I didn’t have to tell a parent their child was killed in a car crash, and I certainly didn’t have to exchange gunfire with someone who wanted me dead. My wife never has to worry if I’m going to come home after my shift. I never have to worry about the dangers that come with putting on the badge and gun. For that reason, I am unbelievably grateful that there are men and women who put on their uniforms every night to protect and serve us. Yes, there are bad cops, just like there are bad broadcasters, teachers, preachers, doctors, etc. but the vast majority do their jobs well under difficult conditions. So today when you see someone with a badge, say thank you. Tell them you appreciate what they do. Pay for their drink or their meal. Send them a letter at work or just give them a nod of acknowledgment.
From all of us here at The River, we say thank you for being our protectors!