2008-05-14 / Editorial & Columns

Behind the Badge

Law Enforcement Week
By Larry G. Spence

When President John F. Kennedy was in office he signed into law a bill proclaiming the week of May 15th of each year to be National Police Week and May 15th of that week to be Police Memorial Day. Unfortunately, President Kennedy was assassinated a short time after that and Officer J.D. Trippet of the Dallas Police department became one of the first officers honored the following year because he was shot and killed while trying to apprehend Lee Harvey Oswald, President Kennedy's assasin. The Police Officers of the State of Texas, of the United States, and also those around the world have a tremendous responsibility to maintain order, enforce the laws, and protect the lives and property of all citizens. This responsibility requires frequent sacrifices and sometimes involves great personal danger to these to these dedicated public servants.

The toll gets higher each year and at last glance, in 2007 there were over 160 officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives while serving their departments. These officers are all owed a debt of gratitude by those of us whom they serve. For those who continue to serve to ensure our safety, we just say thanks. Encourage them as they go about their duties. They know and realize the risks of their profession, but they do it without giving those risks a second thought. The death of a fellow officer is something that should neither be expected or accepted as a part of their job. I think the words of Sir Winston Churchill paying tribute to the Royal Air force in 1940, are very appropriate with respect to America and her law enforcement personnel: "Never in the field of human conflict is so much, owed by so many, to so few."

Our prayer for all those in law enforcement is that they will continue to travel that welltrodden path to rid society of those who disrupt our peaceful way of living, may they be endowed with the strength to carry on in the tradition by which others before them have given the their most precious possession, and may they always be mindful of those who have gone before them, and may they remain vigilant so that those who survive may live in peace in this our great land of freedom

Remember your law enforcement officers this week, whether the be city, county, state, or federal, and give them a word of thanks or encouragement, and lift them up in prayer. They are doing things you wouldn't do, going into places you wouldn't go, for all the money in the world, let alone what they get paid. Whether they are officers, corrections, dispatch, or whatever, they are all play an important part in the whole law enforcement family.

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