National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was Thursday, but so many in our community were wrapped up in an issue involving one deputy and a small dog that they forgot to thank others for all the good deeds they perform daily.
The majority of us don't know what it's like to equip ourselves with a gun each day and it be part of our uniform, something that could potentially save our own life or that of another innocent being. I know I don't, and I wouldn't want that risk/responsibility.
I can't say at all that the video that immediately went viral showcases a reason for praise, but what do the actions of a single individual have to do with the countless acts of others. This deputy made a horrible mistake and will forever be remembered as the cop who shot the dog. However, so many hateful comments were made toward our other local law enforcement officers, and the feedback they received over the past week was disgusting.
Above harassing officers and deputies of the department (and others) who had nothing to do with the matter of hot topic, I was saddened and angered to see our area dispatchers also received backlash. Under no circumstances was there ever a reason for anyone to call the dispatch center over the controversial shooting. Calling the dispatch center means you need an officer or deputy to come to your aide, not a means to file a complaint.
While the community is hurt and angered, it also must remain trusting and respectful to the officials who work to keep us safe. For those who had nothing to do with the shooting to be ridiculed and judged as if they were the ones who pulled the trigger is frustrating.
As we welcome a new week, I hope to see lowered tensions between residents toward law enforcement. After all, when we find ourselves in a bind and or in harm's way, local police will be the ones called to help us out. And despite all the negative remarks they receive, they will respond and defend you to the best of their abilities.
These officers and deputies won't and haven't turned their backs on us, so lets not turn our backs to them either.
Look to each day as if it's Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, because in reality, they don't receive praise often. However, they do often hear feedback when another brother in blue has makes a simple mistake ... and sometimes these mistakes aren't simple, they can be cruel and discouraging. But those actions shouldn't be what defines the entire police force as a whole. These men and women, just as the rest of us, need a morale boost once in a while.
Don't degrade them for going out and doing their jobs. And don't belittle other law enforcement officers over the actions of others. Thank them for what they've done, and don't forget what they've done.
Know of a local resident who deserves recognition, have a question regarding a Faulkner County issue or want to provide a news tip? Contact Log Cabin Democrat reporter Marisa Hicks via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 501-505-1277. Hicks has served on the LCD’s team for three years as the local crime reporter.