On January 9, 2019, partnering organizations in support of law enforcement officers nationwide will promote a National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.). In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all.
Can you imagine going to work each day and wondering if you’ll survive your shift and see your family that night? Most people can’t. But in law enforcement, this is a fact of life. Each day 780,000 police officers across our country put a badge on and go to work knowing they may face extremely dangerous situations. Yet, they go to work anyway. Being a law enforcement officer is not just a job, it is a calling. The pay is low, the hours can be terrible, and there is sometimes little appreciation for what you do. Yet, they do it anyway.
What the public doesn’t see is the toll law enforcement takes to keep our communities safe. On average, between 105 and 203 officers die in the line of duty each year, 50,000 officers are assaulted in the line of duty each year, 14,000 officers are injured in the line of duty each year, and over 300 officers commit suicide each year. There is no other profession in the world, except possibly the military, where you will find these kinds of statistics.
Being a law enforcement officer truly is an impossible job. You must be professional, courteous, caring and yet be ready to protect the public at all times. You must be prepared to make life and death decisions in a moment’s notice. You take an amazing amount of abuse at times, but have to view this abuse as just “part of the job.” You do not have the liberty to express your emotions during many situations.
Parsippany Police Chief Paul Phillips stated “The last few months of 2014 were difficult, demoralizing and in some cases deadly for American Law Enforcement Officers. This is because some political figures and “self-proclaimed” community leaders have exploited tragic and unusual events to stoke hatred toward police officers and divide our communities. The National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day will let our police officers know that members of our communities recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible job they do.”
Law enforcement officers play such an integral part in our society. Without law enforcement officers, chaos would reign. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you were in trouble – a car accident, a home invasion, an assault – and you did not have someone to call for help? No matter how much abuse law enforcement takes, they continue to do their job, and do it well. They are the guardians of our way of life and they deserve our support.
On January 9, we call our nation’s citizens to action in support of law enforcement. Those citizens who appreciate law enforcement and are discouraged about the negative attention being given to law enforcement are encouraged take time on Friday, January 9 to show their support. Our citizens can show their support in a number of ways:
• Change your profile picture on social media to the .jpg image (click here)
• See a police officer? Thank a police officer
• Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement
• Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency
• Share a positive story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media
• Ask children in your community write letters in support of law enforcement
• Participate in Project Blue Light. Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement.
• Organize an event or a rally in support of your law enforcement officers