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SPOTLIGHT
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Thank you, officer

Published on -9/12/2012, 9:12 AM

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Law enforcement can be a thankless job for low pay, bad hours, and in all kinds of conditions.

Twenty-four hours a day, all days of the year, at hours when most everyone else is at home with their families.

Most do not want to meet a LEO unless they need help, in which case LEOs are there, regardless of who you are and what the need might be. National "Tell a Police Officer Thank You" Day is Saturday, and the local LEO "halves" (spouses of LEOs) would like to ask the public to embrace our local police, sheriff, highway patrol and campus officers, and thank them for the job they do and the sacrifices they make. We all as a community need to honor the commitment LEOs have made to ensure our safety, while selflessly risking their own.

One minute, LEOs will be helping a person who is lost, then get called away to a fight in progress. They will respond to help a choking child then later conduct a traffic stop on a drunk driver. They will assist at a house where a loved one has passed away peacefully, then respond to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle and fighting for his life. They will then be told they are "worthless" and be told to "get a real job" by the woman speeding through a school zone whom they have pulled over. They will crawl into mangled wreckage to help the unconscious mother and her injured children after a car wreck.

The LEOs will be told a ridiculous amount of times by people that they will "have your badge." They'll hear "I hate cops" and be called every name ever imagined in a flurry of hatred. LEOs will see the reality of child abuse, domestic abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and the tragedy in the wake of all these abuses.

This could be all in one shift, and then start again tomorrow.

The results of the day's work? The lost person was found, the fight stopped before someone was seriously hurt. The child can breathe again, and the intoxicated driver was thankfully stopped before he killed someone or himself. The family was consoled by the sincerity of the officer assisting, and the pedestrian is healing after the officer provided first aid. School children were not hit by the speeding woman because the police officer stopped her instead. The LEO will know that he or she is not in fact "worthless" and that their job is very real, though the sting of the insult will remain. The injured mother and children may live because the LEO was there to help them. The bad guys do not ever in fact seem to "get the badge" nor withhold the wages they believe that they pay.

The insults can fly, but the LEOs remain professional, handling what most of us would not be capable of enduring, and then doing it all again during the next shift.

The realities of society and it's flaws take a toll on a LEO, but they drive on. They sometimes see things no one should see, but they also have an important role in helping society for the better. Show law enforcement officers that we recognize the service and sacrifice they make every day, for us. The least we can do is say "Thank You."

Have your kids make a sign for your yard. Teachers, have your class draw thank you cards. Thank the officer that perhaps gave you a warning for speeding instead of a ticket, then slow down and wear your seatbelt. Smile and wave to the officer you pass on the street. Remember that at all hours and in all conditions there are LEOs working.

There are also spouses and family at home hoping the LEOs are safe. Pray for the LEOs and their safety, and thank them for their service.

Thank you for all you do, Ellis County law enforcement officers. Your community appreciates it.

Teresa Greenwood

Hays

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