Police deserve to be honored

Published 12:27 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Police officers in our city and across the country have very admirable jobs, but also very dangerous ones.

On a daily basis, police officers put their lives on the line to protect the public. They work long hours, investigate domestic disputes, robberies, rapes, assaults, homicides and occasionally exchange gunfire with criminals. Police officers simply don’t know what to expect when they put their uniforms on in the morning and walk to their patrol cars. Nationwide, 51 officers have died in the line of duty this year.

We should all respect police across this nation because they literally are our eyes and ears when we are resting safely at night. They are first responders to accidents where many of them, because of their training, save lives or help save lives on a daily basis.

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After the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, police officers in that city and across the country got a really bad name, although the officer responsible for the shooting was never indicted. Many of those protesting at the time chanted horrible names in reference to police that we won’t print here. It was a real shame that police were painted with that brush because it’s simply not accurate for the majority of them.

While we should show respect for current police officers, we also need to pay our respects to those who are no longer with us because they were unfortunately killed in the line of duty. That occurred in our city last weekend at the Bowling Green Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. People gathered at the lodge for the ceremony to remember those fallen officers and, in one case, a fallen police dog, Kane. Kane was a 3-year-old German shepherd who was found dead April 27 under what investigators consider suspicious circumstances. A moment of silence was held for Kane.

Russell Coleman, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, who was the guest speaker at the memorial, exhorted officers to speak out more about the nature of their job in order to improve public perception of law enforcement.

“Once you take that oath and put that gun in your holster, you have forever waived your ability to run away from the sound of gunfire,” said Coleman, a former FBI agent. “Many communities don’t understand that’s the culture of law enforcement. You don’t talk about it because that’s just who you are, but you have to talk about it more. We have to expose the community to these stories.”

Coleman is correct. Police officers are humble people and should be commended for not talking about their accomplishments, but Coleman is right that the more police officers talk about their daily jobs and the dangers they face, the more the public will appreciate the vital role they play.

We want to take this time to pay our respects to all police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and those working the streets on a daily basis. We honor you and thank you for all that you do for us every day. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Bowling Green Daily News