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Paige McCullough / Nov. 10, 2020

Protests and Protection: Police Officers Keep Watch

Please thank a police officer today!

As the daughter of a police officer, I have seen firsthand the sacrifice and bravery it takes for an officer to put on his uniform and leave his home each and every day. Police officers, like other first responders, leave their families every day for a shift of commitment to protect their communities, especially the most vulnerable in those communities. Every day they choose to put the lives of those around them over their own.

I recently watched a video clip of a woman standing in front of an NYPD officer, screaming profanity and spitting in his face. The first word that came to mind as I watched this clip was “disgusting.” Absolutely disgusting. This police officer, like other officers holding that line, had done nothing wrong, yet he was being treated as if he was less than human. That could have been my father.

This year more than ever, all men and women in uniform are under attack. Their lives, as well as their loved ones’ lives, are watched and judged more closely than anyone else’s. The people “protesting” to end the violence have destroyed cities, accused all officers of being bad people, and even followed officers home threatening to hurt their families. This was especially true for my family.

One Saturday morning shortly after the death of George Floyd, and the beginning of protests in our city, I awoke to find that some protesters were threatening to come to our home in order to commit violence against us. My dad had instructed my sister and me on how to protect ourselves in case something like this happened while he was at work.

The threat left me feeling sick, and then it dawned on me that this is how officers feel everyday as they put their lives on the line to protect strangers and friends alike, knowing that they are in constant danger as soon as they put on their uniform. While it is true that 2020 has been a year of anxiety and unrest for all Americans, it would be much worse for all of us if we did not have dedicated law enforcement officers on the wall between good and evil. Our first responders and LEOs make great sacrifices for all of us, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude.

Please thank a police officer today!

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