[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Thank An Officer

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thank An Officer

Yesterday's shooting of 4 police officers, one being killed, by a 25-year-old man with a prior criminal record (and as just read here at Babalu, has criminal relatives) served as an unfortunate reminder of the danger that police officers face daily. What started out as a traffic stop turned into a two-county odyssey, with the killer eventually cornered and shot dead by police last night.

This wasn't even the first police officer killed in the line of duty in South Florida this year.

It shouldn't take events like these to remind us how valuable police officers are to the community. The outpouring of support for law enforcement after 9/11 was very nice, but it's easy to slip back into a normal routine where we under-appreciate the fine work they do.

I sometimes hear and read comments that police officers are "assholes", "jerks", etc. You know what? They're not always going to be the most pleasant people to be around when they're on duty. They have to deal with bad people on a daily basis. Besides, their job isn't to play footsie with people, they work to protect us and show strength and authority in doing so. If they don't exactly smile and offer a bouquet of roses when they pull you over for speeding, then that's just something we have to deal with.

The police's show of force and brotherhood on display yesterday was impressive. It could have been very easy for the scumbag to slip away in a community of 4 million people. Some may think it was overkill, and some may even think that they wouldn't have displayed such manpower if a civilian was shot and killed. To that I say...doubtful. A man with an AK-47 and full body armor on the loose and desperate is someone that needs to be taken very seriously.

Anyway, I know what I need to do. Next time I see a police officer, I'm going to thank them. And they don't have to respond if they don't wish to. That's OK. They're putting their life on the line every day for us. That's good enough for me.



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