Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Support Our Police Officers
I often read a blog that shows a graph for each day and find many graphs that are very interesting.. A couple of days ago the graph of the day asked the question, "How much confidence do you, yourself, have in each of the following American institutions: a great deal or quite a lot?" The blog then listed sixteen different institutions in the United States with the following as the top five on the list: The military (45%/26%), small business (28%/32%), the police (28%/30%), the Church or organized religion (26%/22%), and the medical system (16%/19%). It is interesting to me that these five represent the basic protectors that we have in our lives. The military protects us from foreign enemies; small businesses are the foundation of our economy; the police protect us locally; the Church guides us spiritually, and the medical system protects our health. A recent article by Colleen Long of Associated Press printed in the Anchorage Daily News stated that 2009 was a really bad year for policemen. During this year, 47 police officers died nationwide after being shot while on duty. This number is up 24 percent from the 38 killed in 2008. The figures for 2009 were particularly high because officers were shot in groups: four officers outside Seattle in November; four in Oakland, California, in March; three in Pittsburgh in April, and two in Okaloosa County, Florida, in April. Some of these officers appeared to be targeted while the others seemed less so. The article quoted Eugene O-Donnell, a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York as saying, "There's an increasingly desperate population out there. Other than in rare cases for ideological reasons, we really haven't seen people taking on the cops head-to-head. Something is amiss. It should be cause for grave concern." Criminologists say that the problem is compounded because guns are available, but the facts don't seem to bear this out. Pennsylvania has the most gun-related officer deaths this year as well as some of the strictest gun laws in the country. At the same time, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kentucky have few gun laws and few, if any, officer deaths this year. Kevin Morison, a spokesman for the Officers Memorial Fund, was quoted as saying, "But folks who are willing to intentionally target police officers seem to be able to find a way to accrue guns regardless of what the laws in those states would be." So, we have people targeting our police officers. We have a government that is trying to destroy small businesses and the medical system as well as not giving full support to our military. We know that churches and/or religions have long been under attack by the radical leftists in our nation. It is obvious that we need to do more to support our protectors. Few, if any of us, are in a position to take a bullet for a police officer, but there are other things that we can do for them. We can make sure that every officer we see knows that we appreciate their willingness to put their lives on the line EVERY SINGLE TIME they leave their home. We can make sure that we have enough police officers on the streets and that they are adequately paid for doing their duty to our communities. Even though our city is cutting expenses trying to save $20 million this year and $25 million next year, the number of police officers on the streets is not being cut. Another thing that we can do that will help our police officers is to obey the laws of our city, state and nation and show respect to the officers we see. The bottom line is, if we want the police there to help us when we need help, we need to support them in their jobs. This is a personal issue for me for I know numerous police officers personally.