We had a number of guest speakers who helped us read off the names of the fallen from last year and this year, plus we also heard from our PA and enjoyed a beautiful song by one of the Detective's wives.
After the reading of the names, the song and a few different prayers for law enforcement and those who are behind the badge, I closed out the evening with some words of hope and encouragement. I wanted to share with you what I said last evening, in hopes that it touches your heart.
Once again, good evening and thank you for coming. I would also like to thank all those who have had a part in this evening’s program.
Our nation has always had its love-hate relationship with law enforcement, but nothing has transformed the social and political landscape so deeply, than the situation in Ferguson in 2014.
Since that time, attitudes and aggressive actions towards our law enforcement have multiplied, leaving communities broken, families of officers shaken, and law enforcement second guessing.
As we’ve listened to and honored the names of those who have given their lives in the line of duty, I believe each of us are challenged and have a responsibility to never forget or take for granted the sacrifices that every officer takes upon his or herself daily, not to mention the families who stand behind them.
As Romans 13 beautifully lays out in detail, law enforcement and those who uphold the laws exist because they have been established by God. They are God’s servants to do good. But for those who do wrong, the scriptures tell us, they are to be afraid, because these called servants do not bear the sword for nothing.
As an advocate for these special servants, I have talked with countless officers, many of whom struggle with Post Traumatic Stress, nightmares, alcohol or drug addictions, multiple divorces and so many other struggles, simply because they have chosen a career that deals with things that nobody else could stomach. And from the perspective of a wife and mother of an officer, I know that their heart is to help, despite the cost to them personally.
Our officers are not just men and women who write speeding tickets or show up unannounced to teenaged parties, but are for the most part, thoughtful, compassionate human beings who exemplify honor and integrity each and every day.
Without a second thought, these warriors will comfort a child whose mom or dad has been hurt in an accident, will purchase car seats, Christmas presents, meals, buy a pair of shoes or replace a stolen bike, and so much more, with their own money, so that they can help others in need.
These are men and women who will listen to and counsel those who are struggling with life’s problems; finish mowing a yard for an elderly neighbor; or help a young mom carry her groceries to her car.
These servants go above and beyond their call of duty every day, yet are often villain-ized and made the target of public ridicule and hatred simply because they wear a badge. We as a community and society as a whole, must come together to rally behind our officers. We need them, and they need us.
This year alone, officer death by gunfire is up 70% - and tragically just yesterday this scenario played out once again when 39 year old, Detective Brad Lancaster was shot and killed while assisting patrol officers who had responded to a suspicious person call at the Hollywood Casino, in Kansas City, Kansas. Today, a grieving widow and two little girls must pick up the pieces of their shattered life and continue on without their hero.
In closing, I want to encourage each of you to take a stand for our law enforcement. To be a voice when they cannot be. They are the first defense to our community and they will willingly lay down their life if a situation calls for it. They are sheepdogs in charge of the sheep and will do whatever it takes to keep the wolves at bay and you and me safe.
I recently ran across this quote from George Orwell:
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men (and women) stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
To you men and women of the thin blue line, you are appreciated and loved. We salute you!
Many blessings this National Police Week....
Stay safe out there.