Commentary Respect for Civil Servants

Before this even gets kicked off, let me warn those that do not have an open mind to disregard this article. What do I mean by this? If you are not willing to change your mind and listen to reality, you will be wasting your time.
Society has changed over the decades. The manner in which this change affects you revolves around that same annoying question that we hear from time to time. Is your glass half full or half empty? To ask in a more simple form, “Do you look at the positive or the negative?”
Police officers, firefighters, and any other public servants have this question running through their minds on a constant basis. These jobs are not done for the money. Public service is one of the lowest paying forms of employment in this great country. So why do they do it you ask? Lets compare a few common questions that society asks on a daily basis that are meant to ridicule and provoke retaliation against this great profession. Just open your mind and think:

* Question One-

Why does that cop get to drive so fast? He thinks he can just do as he pleases!

When you need them in a hurry, the question changes quickly to,

What took them so long to get here?

* Question Two-

I can’t believe that the fire department couldn’t save that child. Why do I even pay my taxes? They don’t even care.

You see the fire crew later after all adrenaline is gone.

Why is that fireman crying?

* Question Three-

Does that cop have nothing better to do than write tickets?

You live in a nice neighborhood. Lately teenagers have been getting out of school and racing down your street.

Guess what the question will be?

Where are the police when you need them?

I have been a firefighter and am now a police officer. For the last five years I have worked in lower income neighborhoods at night. I will be the first to admit that there are several police officers and other public service employees that abuse their powers and authority. There are bad apples in every bunch. There are however, people that love the job for the right reasons. I love working in the ” geto ” due to the fact that I am a people person. I love to know that when people need something, I am the one they call. If I cannot help them immediately, I will do everything in my power to find the one who can. The only thing I truly gain from my job is happiness.
Older police officers will tell you about the day that their profession was respected greatly by the public. This is back when society did not blame their everyday mistakes on the ones who catch and bring justice to them. This profession is called by some as the first line of defense. The criminal justice system is not as harsh as we would all like it to be. The same goes for police officers, but they have to work with what they got. Take a minute and imagine one day without a police department, a fire department or someone to respond when you are in need of medical assistance. It is a scary thought.
I just attended the funeral of one of the best police officers that I knew. He was killed in a vehicle accident while responding to a robbery. This situation relates back to the prior example. I bet the victim in the robbery was wondering where the police were. I bet the witnesses at the intersection where the accident occurred wanted to know why he was driving so fast. The ironic thing about him is that I say he was one of the best I knew and he had only been a police officer for one year. He had a Masters degree and could have pursued employment making a dream salary. You see, he did not want the badge to have authority to arrest or to drive fast when he wanted. He simply wanted to make his positive contribution to this world. I am honored to have known him and intend on continuing with his long-term goal.
So next time you see a police officer, find it in your heart to say, “Thank You”.