January 19, 2016

As I write this, funerals are being planned for several policemen around the nation killed in the line of duty, for the crime of simply being on duty.

It has been declared “open season on police”.

Recent decisions by grand juries not to indict police who were involved in fatal altercations with unarmed perpetrators have fueled the flame of underlying racial animosity against the police.

Now while there are racist police officers, I’m quick to remind you that there also racist accountants, lawyers, ministers, doctors, mechanics and protesters.

In short, police are not perfect, nor do they claim to be. In my injury practice, I have run across a handful of questionable actions by police. However, given the fact that I investigate so many cases, the rarity of their misconduct is probably much lower than the rate of a minister’s misconduct; or doctors doing surgery drunk or on medication; or school bus drivers who are wanted felons or drive intoxicated; or financial planners running a Ponzi scheme and stealing their clients’ money.

I am told that some people are teaching their children to be afraid of the police. At my house, my children are taught to thank them for their service. They are the only ones standing between you and anarchy.

When a mentally deranged man shoots up a movie theater, who is called? Do they call you? Do they call a protester? No, they call the men and the women in blue.

A police officer must be a social worker, a UFC fighter, a paperwork genius, and a self-controlled, infinitely patient paragon of virtue (who actually gets lied to every single day by people who claim to have virtue).

And they must do this on a salary that is half what it should be. It is no wonder that my police officer friends often just shake their head at what they see and hear. They are not as free as you and I are to just speak up and tell what they really experience. Too many wind up stuffing it inside, drowning in a bottle, or yes, sometimes taking it out on someone. While that can’t be excused, we would do well to replace disrespect with gratitude. To replace skepticism with understanding. Many who do not respect the police also do not respect our soldiers in uniform. There is little difference between the two, as I see things.

So in this season of unrest, if you know a police officer, clip out this column and go talk to him or her and ask how you can be a blessing to them. Just thank them for standing in the gap. They are on a first name basis with the guys that would terrify you if they were to follow you in the Kroger parking lot. And the reason they’ve gotten to know these people so well, is that they continue to arrest them and charge them and thugs continue to be turned out by legal system that has forgotten punishment and retribution in the name of correction, but then takes no serious steps for rehabilitation at all.

The life of Christ is portrayed in a noble way by law-enforcement, first responders, soldiers and sailors who willingly sacrifice their life to protect others. Indeed, it is through their sacrifice that we sleep soundly. And it is through Christ’s sacrifice that we can inherit internal life. Please honor your local law-enforcement this special season. God bless them and their families.

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”.

George Orwell

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