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I’m frustrated, disgusted and enraged just like the rest of my fellow Americans. I watch the news, I hear the reports. Another police shooting, another life taken too soon. The media goes crazy, social media lights up like a Christmas tree. Police brutality has hijacked my newsfeed once again.

Spoiler alert! We have all seen this story; we all know how it will end. One side will scream that the law is corrupt and the other side will scream back. Sadly, there are no winners here. Both sides will lose. Both sides have families reading the headlines. I’m one of those families and I think it’s time you hear my side of the story. I think it’s time you hear the perspective from a police officer’s significant other, despite the fact that I’m hesitant to share simply because I’m not sure if I’m ready for all the hateful, derogative comments that will unfold once my side of the story is told. But I have a voice and it’s time I use it. It’s time I roar back to the endless flow of anti police comments throughout our media and social media. 

Being the significant other of a police officer is not for the weak, needy, insecure or self centered individual. I know this because my better half is a police officer. He has dedicated his entire life to serve and protect. He received the proper schooling and continues to improve his education. He took an oath to serve and protect the moment his badge was pinned on his uniform. He is active in our community. Elected officials and residents are calling him all hours of the day and night. He answers his personal cell phone with a smile on his face each time, even on his days off.   He has worked day, evening and overnight shifts. He has worked holidays. He has worked special events, like my birthday or the wedding of a friend. He has worked in the heat and extreme cold. He has worked in all sorts of weather conditions including blizzards and hurricanes. He has worked while the rest of us are tucked away safely in our homes thankful for snow days because who wants to drive in treacherous conditions!

 A few years ago he was driving home while off duty and came across a grueling motor vehicle accident. He instinctively stopped his car, pulled the driver out and assisted. He was late for his personal appointment that day, but he saved a complete stranger’s life. That stranger could have been your mother, father, sister, brother or child. Just another day in the life of a cop. Our police are never really “off” they took an oath to serve and protect 24/7.

Stop and think what it’s like to work long, grueling shifts. Overnights, extreme temperatures and weather conditions. Stop and think what it’s like to miss major holidays, events and special occasions with your family and friends because of your job. A job that you proudly took an oath to serve and protect only to have the media and society judge you for that one bad cop. That one cop that all the other cops are also ashamed of. Did you ever think of that? Did you ever think that when the media swarms around that one bad cop all the good ones are also enraged? According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial page we have over 900,000 sworn police officers in the United States. Wow! That’s a huge number, yet our media has condemned every single police officer in the United States and has created this us versus them mentality. Imagine if we behaved like this when a medical professional was involved in a malpractice lawsuit? Or when a teacher engaged in sexual misconduct with a student? 

Just last night in Dallas FIVE police officers were murdered just for doing their jobs. From the safety of my home, I watched with horror as a police officer was executed by a criminal with a rifle. Executed because he wore a uniform. Executed because he went to work that evening to protect Americans exercising their first amendment right.

The Officer Down memorial page claims 130 officers were killed while in the line of duty in 2015. That is 130 sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers and fathers who said goodbye to their loved one at the start of a shift and will never see them again. 130 officers reported to duty and died while changing a flat tire on the side of the road, died while working a traffic stop, died at the hands of repeat offenders, parolees, drug addicts, and terrorists. 130 officers died while responding to what they were called to do on that particular shift. They died honoring their oath to serve and protect.

Have you ever been to the funeral of a police officer? Have you ever listened to an officer’s end of watch at their funeral? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a deceased officer’s spouse and watched as our flag is handed to his widow? And the children, have you ever looked at the mourning officer’s children? Sorry kids, Daddy was only going to work and now you are fatherless and the media is going to exploit his name. And let’s not forget all the trolls on social media. These guys are my favorite. They make it their priority to smear the deceased officer’s name. They never, ever wait for facts. They are both the judge and jury and will stop at nothing to destroy an officer’s name. They form their own witch hunt online and create anti police groups while chanting “F the police” calling them pigs and other derogative names. 

All out of hate.

The hatred is not for the person with the badge, it is for what he or she represents. We are living in a society where authority is challenged daily. Respect is a faded memory, something our grandparents fondly reminisce about.

Be patient. Be kind. Be thankful for our police officers. This is a difficult time to be a police officer. This is an emotional time to love a police officer. This is a time when the sound of velcro at the end of a loved one’s shift is a glorious sound. 

Remember the 900,000 men and woman under the uniform. 900,000 men and women with families scattered throughout our country. 900,000 families who pray at the beginning of each officers shift for the safety of their LEOs. 900,000 men and women who put their life on the line every single day to serve and protect both you and your families.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

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Photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives via Visual hunt / CC BY

Lisa Ingrassia

Lisa is the Director of Events at Zenith Marketing Group, an insurance brokerage firm located in Freehold, NJ. She is passionate about sharing her father’s journey with cancer and bringing attention the difficult path a caregiver must walk. She has written guest articles for the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, The Mighty & Her View From Home. She is also a guest blogger for The Huffington Post. Fun fact: She’s obsessed with her Boston terrier Diesel and loves the color blue.

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