I have been reminded in recent days of my deep appreciation for our Canadian police forces. They have a tough job. Stress upon stress, split-second decisions made under extreme duress knowing there will be no chance for a do-over, judgment calls when all the facts have not had time to be gathered.
Looking back for only a few short years we can count a number of members whose lives have been taken as they have endeavored to protect the public. Us. It grieves us. We lament and seek to honour, but at the same time we seemingly accept it as part of the cost.
When disturbing things happen in society it is easy for our anger to use a broad brush in condemnation. Anger is understandable and acceptable – rage is never productive.
An enraged mind does not lend itself to reasonable thinking. People can react beyond the norm, making demands and decisions that are later regretted.
According to reports a U.S. city has considered disbanding its entire police force. And then what?
A society without policing, or even lost respect for the police, is a society in deep trouble. Chaos and lawlessness follow. The strong smother the weak, using brute force to accomplish their goals of ownership, dictatorship, and rule.
We wish law enforcement to show respect for all citizens. That is as it should, and must, be – but respect is a two-way street. The police force also needs the respect of all citizens.
To not be given respect disarms them. Respect is earned, we say, not dictated. True. But respect can also be taught. Our values can be passed on. We can do much through our homes, our schools, and our churches.
If we wish our police force to feel they are a valuable part of our society, their position needed and honoured, we need to find ways to let them know just how important they are.
Working together as all segments of government and law enforcement we must find the way to cull out the few officers who do not properly honour the uniform.
The many who do deserve the highest regard in our communities. Let’s give encouragement and appreciation to those who daily endeavour to protect our lives and possessions. Pray for their safety and thank God that we have them. If we do not support them, we may live to deeply regret it.
- J. L. Oke,