Never has it been more important to be a police officer. Or more dangerous.
Recently officers have been brutally shot and killed in Dallas, Baton Rouge and San Diego. These executions are covered by the news media for a while. Social media timelines and message boards light up with “thought and prayer” messages. People show care, compassion and concern. Hats are passed for the victims’ families. Flowers are left. Moments of silence are shared. People are angry and sad.
And then, once the 24-hour news cycle has quieted down a bit, people do what people do…they go back to their lives and forget, hoping not to have to remember.
But the next day, and the next day, and the next, men and women across the globe, across the nation, and across the Upstate put on their blue uniforms and go to work.
Let us not forget. Let us not forget that wearing blue means every day wives, husbands and children worry. Let us not forget that wearing blue means you run toward danger, not away from it. Let us not forget that wearing blue means it doesn’t matter if it’s hot, or raining, or snowing—you still do what your job requires. Let us not forget that high salaries, long lunches, standard working hours and extended vacations just aren’t part of the gig. Let us not forget that the job hurts, both mentally and physically.
Let us remember. And long after the reporters leave the scene and our lives return to normal, let us remember what it means to wear blue with our time and with our treasure.
Because when you need an officer in blue, I promise that officer will remember you.
Steve Denton served the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office for over 23 years before joining HWS&C, P.C. as an attorney.