By Sarah Rodgers
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This year we have seen more police officers killed in the line of duty than we have in a long time. The last time I checked, it was about 75 officers killed on the front lines since Biden came into office, and even more, were injured.
Just the other week, large sections of Manhattan were blocked off to honor the death of two NYPD officers with their funerals at Saint Patrick’s.
I don’t think many people understand unless they are part of a first-line family the fear that comes every day. My father and grandfathers were officers, and my boyfriend is an officer. Every day I check in on him to make sure he gets home safely after his shift because the world has become more violent and dangerous for people in cities. Every day I read horror stories of crimes happening, and hearing my boyfriend speak to other officers about what they have seen frightens me to the core.
Unless you know first hand the feeling of having your loved ones on the front line, you don’t feel the pain we do when we see a brother or sister in blue, gray, red, green, or any other color of our first-line workers and armed forces makes the ultimate sacrifice.
In America, we have demonized an entire group of people who are hard-working men and women who want to protect communities that many times are not even theirs. They risk their lives to make sure everyone gets home safely. My boyfriend and I don’t live in the community he patrols. He actively goes into a much more dangerous and crime-filled area to help protect and serve those people who desperately need him.
I once was told that a “cop signed up for it” when they get killed or injured because that’s part of the job. That is not what they sign up for. They do not sign up to be berated, targeted, and attacked. They sign up to protect women, children, their fellow men, our pets, our property, and the communities we live and grow in.
Behind that badge and uniform are amazing men and women who have hearts and souls. Get to know them. You’ll learn that they are just like you and me. They like to watch football, have dinner with friends, pet dogs, watch The Office, and so many more.
Stop dehumanizing these people. Stop dehumanizing the men in my life. Stop dehumanizing the people trying to help you because if you keep doing that, don’t be surprised when they aren’t there to help you when you need it.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.