Law enforcement has always been a tough job. Police officers work in the depths of depravity, many times amazed at what one person will do to another person. They generally enter people’s lives during or after highly charged, negative, or tragic situations. They step into the lives of strangers for a brief moment in time and witness a broad spectrum of human behavior and emotions.
Police officers are the first responders to a variety of violent acts including murders, shootings, stabbings, sexual assaults, and child abuse, as well as vehicle accidents, riots, and natural disasters. On any given day, a police officer speaks with victims and witnesses who are often upset or traumatized. Officers also make death notifications to the next of kin of loved ones who have died from suspicious, traumatic, or unattended deaths. Each of these calls for service can create a roller coaster of emotions for a police officer who must remain calm, professional, and focused on the task at hand.
At the same time, officers also complete mundane tasks, remain sedentary, spend several hours alone, and work abnormal hours. All of this has an impact on mental and physical health and the lives of their families. And in the rare times that they must use force, they get scrutinized and chastised by the very people they are there to protect.
Sadly, violence and animosity against law enforcement nationwide is rising. There were 58,627 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2016, resulting in 16,677 injuries. A total of 1,511 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 58 hours or 151 per year. There were 129 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2017. Their names will be engraved and formally dedicated at the 30th annual Candlelight Virgil held on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Sunday, May 13.
The latest police deaths occurred when two sheriff’s deputies were ambushed in broad daylight while eating lunch at a local restaurant killed in Trenton, Florida on April 19. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 22 officers have been shot in the line of duty in 2018, more than twice the next leading cause of death among officers, which is automobile crashes.
Randy Sutton with Blue Lives Matter says many people still deny cops are being targeted. “The war on cops is very real,” he says, “and these two casualties are just another example.”
The national media has done it’s best to point out the worst in law enforcement in recent years while neglecting the many positive stories that occur daily between police and the people they are tasked to protect. Despite all of the negative aspects of the job (you can also ad low pay to the list), they continue to work tirelessly to help solve the massive problems of a society that is breaking apart.
I have been privileged to interview a number of top law enforcement officers in our area over the past several years and have found them to be extremely dedicated to their jobs and their commitment to serve the citizens of their communities. Many have stated that their faith is the key to doing their job effectively.
The Bible has a lot to say about law enforcement. Police officers can be found all through Scripture. The first cops were the cherubim of Eden placed there by God to prevent entry. What an awesome weapon God gave them – flaming swords! The Scriptures prove that people of law enforcement are ordained by God, beginning in Genesis through Revelation 20:1 where angelic police arrest Satan.
Therefore, a Christian involved in law enforcement or police work is doing a good and godly thing. The police officer who enforces the just law of the land should consider himself or herself God’s servant. In 1962, President John Kennedy proclaimed May15th as National Peace Officers Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls as National Police Week.
So join us in expressing our gratitude and our appreciation to all those who have chosen to serve in law enforcement-a dangerous career, a noble calling, and a profession congruent with a biblical desire for justice and righteousness.