Every Monday Matters:
By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Over 699,000 sworn officers and almost 318,000 civilian officers protect and serve the citizens of the U.S.
Over 14 million arrests occur annually for all offenses, except traffic violations.
Over 59,000 officers are assaulted while performing their duties.
Over 57 are killed — their average age is 37.
Over 23 million people are victimized by violent and property crimes.
There has been a 58 percent decline in violent crimes and 52 percent decline in property crimes over the last 12 years.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
>1. When you see law enforcement officers in uniform, walk up and thank them for the job they do in keeping you and your community safe.
2. Pull your car to your right and out of the way when you hear a siren or see a police car approaching with its lights on.
3. Organize your friends, co-workers, neighborhood, or child's classroom to create and deliver a thank-you card to your local law enforcement agency, police station, or town sheriff.
4. Donate to law enforcement benefits and causes.
5. Support or start a Neighborhood Watch program in your community.
6. Always report crime.
Law enforcement officers make an incredible difference in your community. Every day they put their lives on the line to protect you, your neighbors, and your loved ones. Show appreciation, thank them for their valuable service, and tell them the impact they have on the lives of the people in your community. Who knows? Maybe the next officer who pulls you over will be the one to whom you gave the thank-you note … just a thought.
Does it make you nervous when you are driving down the road and you see a police car behind you? What about if you are stopped at a traffic light next to a police car? Do you look and smile or just try to ignore their existence? How about this one … do you pull your car over to the right when you see a police car coming with its lights and sirens on?
It seems that society does not appreciate law enforcement has much as it should. These men and women risk their lives every single day for us … total strangers. Yet, we have a hard time looking at them and smiling to acknowledge them for their service, and we certainly don't like pulling over to the right when we see them coming lights and sirens a blaring.
This was the case for
"It seems like every other week, the media covers a story about a police officer abusing their power, so it kind of starts to put a bitter taste in your mouth," admitted Julie. "So, instead of feeling safer around police officers, I have always felt threatened by them in a weird way."
Unfortunately, for everyone, local news oftentimes doesn't cover the feel good stories. They lack sensationalism and are considered "boring content" by most TV executives. But Julie's story is one that not only changed her views, but might also shed some light on everyone's perspective of the men and women in law enforcement.
"My husband was gone on a business trip, and I was home alone and in bed," shared Julie, "when I heard someone trying to break into our house. I was so scared that ran and hid in our closet with the phone and immediately called 9-1-1. I had to whisper to the dispatcher because I was afraid the burglar would hear me. I was completely freaked out."
Fortunately, two police cars were at the residence within 10 minutes and caught a man who had broken into Julie's home. He was immediately arrested and taken away … nothing was stolen and nobody got hurt.
"It was a night I will never forget," said Julie. "It still haunts me, but thank G-d that the police were able to get to my house so quickly and did their job like true professionals. I am so grateful for what they did."
And, interestingly enough, the story doesn't end there.
"My view of law enforcement officers has totally changed," said Julie. "Now I go out of my way to wave to them, I always try to get out of their way as quickly as possible … heck, I have even baked them cookies and taken them to the police station."
Sometimes major life circumstances can have a profound impact on our views, opinions, choices, and behavior. This was clearly the case for Julie. It's just too bad that our media doesn't cover more stories like this. Law enforcement officers matter. If you've ever had to rely on one, you would know. Julie certainly does ... and we are all grateful for that.
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© 2009, The Modesto Bee Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services