Public support is really shown during moments like these. I have been awed at the public turnout at our funerals for those lost in the line of duty. When you drive past miles and miles of public turnout, with banners, salutes of honor and tears, on both sides of the road and across every overpass, there really are no words. People watch at work even as the news live streams it too. For a brief moment, the city is silent.
I feel very lucky working here in Phoenix where the public supports the PD in a great way. It doesn’t matter the season, be it of loss or gain, they really stand by us.
I understand their disappointment when one of ours fails them, but public sentiment rarely sways. People take time for kind words of support, and have put their money where their mouth is supporting us with their hard earned tax dollars and votes. That is no small thing.
It is something I keep in mind when I meet the people I have served for over twenty-five years. They deserve my best, and I hope I have given them that. I see officers, the dinosaurs, of which I probably am, and they can be gruff and cynical. That comes from the ten percent we deal with on a day-to-day basis, who would just as soon shoot you as give you the time. The key, to not walking down that road of brusque cynicism, is to remember the ninety percent we never have to see.
The ninety percent is why I am proud to be a part of “The Thin Blue Line”, and willing to stand the in that tiny fragile gap between anarchy and peace.
To the ten-percent? I took an oath, literally, to fight your anarchistic, predatory ways, fairly and completely within the rules. That is what my personal honor demands of me, even though you have no such calling.
But understand this, I do not take my cause lightly. I do not wield the sword in vain. I will stand in the gap for my family, my brothers and the public. I will fight the good fight to give my kids a future. If that means sending the wolves to the zoo, this sheepdog is up to the task.