This is the time for the communities of Bladen County to rally around the men and women in law enforcement who keep us safe. They put their lives on the line every day — a statement that has never had greater import for those comprising the thin blue line.
They now have to be on guard at all times in the wake of the massacre of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, and shootings of officers in Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana and Tennessee, followed by the killing of two court bailiffs by an inmate in Michigan.
We feel sure, more than ever, that Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, Elizabethtown Police Chief Tony Parrish, White Lake Police Chief Bruce Smith and Bladenboro Police Chief Chris Hunt have been emphasizing of late the importance of being vigilant and making sure their officers return home every day.
Law enforcement officers across the country are mired in a grieving process because of the violence being aimed at them. From large cities to rural towns, officers are the target of those demented and callous individuals who see violence against those who protect us as nothing more then a video game.
What most fail to understand is exactly how much we expect our law enforcement officers to do. On any given day, more and more societal problems are heaped on our men and women in blue to solve. Not enough mental health funding, let the cops handle it; a loose dog problem, let’s have the cops chase loose dogs; schools fail, let’s give it to the cops — all on top of domestic disputes, traffic problems, drug activity, gang violence, etc.
That’s too much to ask.
Yet day after day our law enforcement officers take on such problems, and as a rule perform effectively and professionally. In this time of pressure, concern and greater risks than ever, let’s support the men and women in law enforcement — and show our support for them personally at every opportunity.
Though none of the tragedies took place in our county, we should still take time to contemplate the harrowing life-and-death nature that our public-safety officers face and be grateful for the men and women who step up to do this job. But let’s also not forget those who are at home — the wives, husbands, children, parents, siblings of law enforcement officers — wondering on a daily basis if their significant other will come home or be a victim of the next senseless tragedy.
Officers take their share of criticism. Second-guessing comes with police work. But we all know that each time an officer starts his shift, he or she does so knowing that what might appear to be routine can turn deadly in a split second.
And for that reason, they deserve our respect and, most importantly, our prayers.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)