This week is National Police Week in the U.S. (ending with the Congressionally enacted Peace Officers Memorial Day today on the 15th). According to statistics published by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, law enforcement deaths are up 29% and 29% by gunfire, specifically, from this time last year.
Over the past few years, cop killers are targeting the police for termination. Seek and destroy. Shot with automatic weapons while taking a break in the coffee shop, hit over the head with a cinder block, kicked while on the ground and then run over by a car—it's all another day in the life of a law enforcement officer.
In today's society, we fight a broken criminal justice system, denial, apathy, a loss of faith and hope, and a disintegration of our American ideals and values. We have political division and moral relativity, a poor economy, war, terror, crime, and people are pessimistic and cynical about the world and their place in it.
Has fear, loathing, and hatred reached maximum proportion? Is government intrusion (or perceived government intrusion) and economic conditions a cause for violence that is being taken out on cops as faces and agents of the U.S. government? Have we reached a critical mass with civil unrest only to look forward to violent social disorder?
As representatives of our community in a social contract that we created whereby we have given our police the authority to use deadly force on our behalf—to protect us, to save us---are cop killers then killing us? Are there symbolic proportions that we must consider in our response to crime, terror, and all that we stand to protect?
As we celebrate reward and sacrifice today and this week, I'd challenge all of you to go out of your way to shake a cop's hand, wave, or say "thank you." In a society that asks for peace makers and law enforcement with a caveat of "Don't pull me over", the police, with heavy hearts, accept a public paradox.
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God." (Matthew 5:9)
Copyright © 2014 by Brian A. Kinnaird
Visit Dr. Kinnaird’s website The Hero Complex for books, blogs, training, and opportunities for heroic pathways!
References and suggested reading:
National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund
Officer Down Memorial Page