Nine New York Police Department officers have taken their own lives this year, six cops in Philadelphia were shot last week while protecting their city, and the nation seems to continue to slip into a dark divide between police and civilians that needs mending.
But the much-needed way out of this darkness starts with a respect for the authorities.
Make no mistake, there have been times when police have acted inappropriately. This editorial is to remind us all that the good of the many always outshines the darkness of the few.
Just imagine this: You’re an officer out on patrol and a call comes through the radio for a domestic-abuse incident. You then rush into that home to see a screaming child attempting to defend her helpless mother from an abusive aggressor, but fortunately you’re in time before anything too severe happens.
After almost suffering a broken jaw, along with cuts from the knife that the sick-minded individual was wielding, you’re able to subdue the individual with no harm to either the mother or child, just as backup arrives.
You decide to head downstairs and step outside as soon as you see that your colleagues are in control of the scene. You just want a second to clear your head from the horrible trauma that unfurled before continuing your patrol; after all, you’re only an hour into your shift.
So, you step outside, and suddenly you’re drenched head to toe from a bucket of water while you see almost a dozen people laughing while recording your humiliation on their cell phones. They don’t know what you had just been through and, almost just as sad, they don’t seem to care.
We can’t imagine a day at work going like that. But in a department of roughly 35,000, far too many N.Y.P.D. officers have seen something similar to that hypothetical scenario — and especially this summer.
The officers that remain nameless are the ones that do their jobs heroically, swiftly and fairly. They are New York’s Finest.
Now more than ever, there’s a civic duty of all New Yorkers, let alone all Americans, to remind police that they are welcome in our communities. It’s on us to show that we respect law enforcement and their families for the sacrifices made, so that we have safer streets to walk.
Politicians from all over the five boroughs have called for due respect to be given to police. It is our obligation to carry that out.
No matter what, there will come a time when you are in need of the police. However, now is a time that the police are in need of us. Even just saying, “Stay safe officer” to a cop leaving a deli can go further than you could imagine.
Letting the police know that their work isn’t in vain could end up saving a life, perhaps even yours, some day.