As I scanned my news feed this morning, I came across an article in LifeZette by T. B. Lefever titled “Law Enforcement Gets the Backing It Has Always Deserved” outlining the new administrations’ support of law enforcement. Lefever goes on to point out in the very first paragraph, “If you look at the Obama administration outline and vision for the country that’s been archived on the whitehouse.gov site, you’ll see that there were five main areas of focus. They are listed as follows: Health Care, Climate and Energy, American Leadership, Economic Progress, and Equality and Social Progress. But if you look at the Whitehouse website under the Trump administration as it stands today, the policy points are: America First Energy Plan, America First Foreign Policy, Bringing Back Jobs and Growth, Making Our Military Strong Again, Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community, and Trade Deals Working for All Americans.”
As a former law enforcement officer (LEO), adding the initiative, “Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community,” is a breath of fresh air for me and any and every law enforcement officer, their families and anyone who appreciates, cares about or understands what LEOs do every day for our citizenry. Although I do miss the job, there have been too many times in recent memory that I am reminded of how lucky I am to be retired. From being called “stupid,” being accused of bias, being told to stand down while protesters burn a community down, to unjust prosecutions, this recognition of law enforcement’ sacrifice is welcome. Police officers are trained and of a mindset that they are willing to engage with the worst of offenders where, and when they are called upon, even in the worst of situations. One only need look at the Dallas sniper case this past summer where five police officers were killed. The sniper was shooting at police officers from an unknown location, yet police officers were still risking their lives to protect protesters who were, ironically, protesting the police.
Shouldn’t Everyone Support Law Enforcement?
I try to understand how anyone cannot support law enforcement. If you are a law-abiding citizen, want to live peaceably, and believe criminal behavior and the victimization of our neighbors should result in consequences commensurate with the offense, then you most surely should back the police. If you think sentencing is too harsh for “minor” drug offenses, that may be so, but what does that have to do with the cop on the street? If you are a criminal, I could certainly understand how the Po-Po would cramp your style. But, do we care about what career criminals think? I don’t.
Supporting the Thin Blue Line
As Lt. Dave Grossman points out in his book, On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs, the sheep don’t like the sheepdog until the wolf comes down off the mountain. We may not like that public dynamic, but it something all law enforcement learns to accept as part of the job. We appreciate it when the highest levels of the government recognize and support law enforcement.
Time will tell how the administration’s support of law enforcement materializes, and we in the “community” hope for a swift and meaningful change. Whether it’s responding to a robbery in progress, a gun battle on a street corner between drug dealers, a missing child, a vehicle that crashed and launched into a river, (Nashville, TN, Police Officer, Eric Mumaw, drowned trying to save a life in the Cumberland River on February 2, 2017) our law enforcement officers are ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for us. The least we can do is support them. Thankfully it is starting at the top in the foreseeable future. Vigilant Solutions supports the Thin Blue Line and we welcome support from the new administration.
Note: Since I wrote this blog post the President of the United States addressed the Major Cities Chief’s Conference and the Major Counties Sheriff’s Conference in Washington, DC, on February 8, 2017. The White House indicates that the administration will be more supportive of law enforcement, and this was reinforced by Executive Order signed on February 7, 2017, regarding violence against law enforcement. The administration says that it is their priority to strengthen law enforcement, to have more community engagement, and more police and deputies in assignments in their communities with priorities to help law enforcement against gangs, weapons, and drugs. The attack plan to reduce gangs revolves around “prevention, intervention, then enforcement.
National emphasis will also be given to High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETFs). This too is a lot more oxygen, a lot more!