To Our Law Enforcement Officers:

I can not pretend to understand the emotions that you must be going through right now.

What was once a job that was honored and envied, that was the stuff of dreams for little boys and girls across the nation, is now being attacked.

Yesterday I spoke to one of my friends that puts his life on the line each and every day for our community, and what he said broke my heart.

He was raw and honest with me, and said that he wasn't okay, and that the pride he used to feel each day as he put on his uniform has diminished.

He said that the disrespect he receives as he is out and about town (protecting us) has escalated and become more aggressive.

That it is harder than ever to make decisions about the safety of citizens and himself when in high-stress situations.

He agreed changes need to be made, that more education would benefit both officers and the community.

As we spoke, the weariness in his voice was evident.

I wanted to write this as a way to let him, and other local law enforcement officers know, that there are SO many of us that value what they do.

I've been the person hanging upside down in the car in the black of night trying to fight the fear and panic and focus on the calm reassuring voice trying to help me.

I've had family members and friends be the ones opening the door to an officer giving them the news none of us are ready for.

The tragedy of this nonstop rage and negativity is that we are losing good officers.

Like my friend, they are becoming discouraged, and many are deciding that it is no longer worth the emotional and physical toil and are walking away.

Now is the time to let our voices be heard.

Now is the time for those of us that support our law enforcement officers to speak up and be louder than the anger.

They need to know that we see them and what they are doing, and that we are thankful for all the good they do for our community.

A simple thank you and smile when you pass an officer on the street, a conversation with your children next time you see one about all the ways they keep our community safe, a text or phone call to your friends in law enforcement saying "we are here for you."

I truly believe that there are more good men and women wearing those badges than bad.

And if they don't hear how much we appreciate them, we are going to lose them, and where will our community be then?

To our Highway Patrol Officers, our Police Officers, our Game and Fish Wardens, our Sherrif's Department...and all of those that made an oath to protect and serve our community...

Thank you.

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