I live it, I think about it, I dream about it, I often cannot stop thinking about it. I’m talking about our profession, law enforcement. The media downplays our good acts, gives too much credit to the criminals and makes assumptions that often go past reality and into untruth, bordering the ridiculous. Many people would shy away from ever taking this profession. You don’t owe me anything because I have chosen to become a police officer. I will never tell you that I am better than you or that you owe me some form of concrete gratitude because of something I have willingly chosen to do. Not only will I never tell you those things, but I will never think those things. We will silently go in to our workday, expecting nothing in return except cooperation. There is, however, one thing I will say, one thing I will always speak up about and one thing that no media outlet, no person, no politician, no friend, family or foe can ever change; I am not sorry for becoming a police officer.
I am not sorry for pulling you over today because your brake light was out. I am not sorry for blocking the street, not allowing you through access. I am not sorry for demanding answers when you called the police for some unknown trouble or reason. I am not sorry I took you to jail. I am not sorry I simply love doing my job.
Because pulling someone over for a dysfunctional brake light can lead to the apprehension of wanted persons, violent criminals, drug dealers, drunk drivers, the people we swear to protect you against.
I am blocking the street because a child has just been hit by a car, a family’s home is burning, someone dangerous is barricaded inside your neighbor’s house and the last thing we want is to put you in eye-shot of a terrible scene or, god forbid, put you in any more danger than you would willingly put yourself.
I am demanding answers from you because I know this may be your one and only chance to legitimately get out of a dangerous and abusive relationship. I can feel your anxiety, I know you’re in trouble; all you need is a little encouragement from someone who can actually do something about it.
I took you to jail because you committed a crime. Yes, I could have cited you and, even perhaps, I could have looked the other way. However, I live a life of integrity, respect for the public and respect for you. Maybe I took you to jail because a citation would not serve as a lesson learned. It could very well be the wake up call that saves your life, removes you from the deadly grip of drug abuse, which inevitably leads to death. I did not take you to jail because I hate you; I took you to jail because I swore to protect you.
I am not sorry for backing my brothers and sisters in blue until the day I die. I am not sorry for loving my family, both blood and blue, to the point that I would willingly lay down my life for them, or you. I am not sorry that a minority of the public puts a target on my back, literally wishing someone would take a shot. I am surely not sorry that we will always win against this small radical group. I am not sorry that we are sometimes looked down upon and spit upon, for it is these people who will eventually feel the strong-arm of justice prevail against them.
I am not sorry that I may fall, by your hand, because my brothers and sisters will grow stronger and hunt you with a fever you have never witnessed before. They do not crave revenge, they simply crave justice.
I am not sorry that my real life heroes exist in the form of public servants.
I am not sorry for becoming a police officer.