Through Blue Eyes

Photo valid under the Creative Commons License

Photo valid under the Creative Commons License

Kylee Baines, Editor In Chief

When I was a little girl and people would ask me where my parents worked, I’d be the first to voice that my dad was a police officer. Nothing made me prouder than letting strangers and friends know that my dad got criminals off the street. But looking back, I’m relieved I didn’t know what being an officer actually entailed at such a young age. I’m sure I would have been worried every time he left for work; and with everything in the media nowadays, saying I’m not occasionally terrified would be a lie.

Today, I am just as proud of my dad as I ever was, however I am much more cautious in discussing what he does for a living. It seems no matter where you go, and who you talk to, there is something negative being said about police officers, especially in the media. As an aspiring journalist, I have no problem speaking out about this; biased media is the reason we have the misunderstandings we have today. I can’t even begin to explain the nauseating feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I turn on the news and  hear about another slain officer, or about events that evoke negative actions being taken against the people who keep our streets safe at night.

I come from a long line of law enforcement on my dad’s side, and that is something that will always make me proud. It takes a very dedicated, selfless person to put their life on the line for people they don’t know – and nowadays who may not fully respect them. Not a day goes by, nor a shift of extra duty, that I don’t fear for my father’s life knowing that there are citizens out there who are willing to harm him without even knowing him, solely because of the badge on his uniform. Up until two years ago, I never thought about the fact my father may not come home from work. And working in a rather close knit community, where people tend to  appreciate their public servants, I don’t believe he ever really had to think about whether or not he should wear his bullet proof vest.

As an only child, my parents are my best friends. My dad has taught me too much about life to mention. He taught me how to catch, coached a multitude of (horrible and not so horrible) little league softball teams, helped me warm up before games and brought hot chocolate to winter practice when I was frozen to my core. He’s lifted my morale when it’s been in the gutter and always reminded me that a bad day isn’t the end of my life. He is one of the most loving, goofy, humble souls I’ve ever known, and has always had the best interests of my family at heart.

For anyone who’s not following my train of thought, I am trying to paint a picture of the man many, including myself, consider a hero and others are calling a villain. It’s people like my dad who will be there for you at two in the morning when someone breaks into your home and attempts to rob you. It’s police officers like my dad who are going to arrest the drug dealer and rapist who may be living on your street.

It’s officers like my dad who go into schools and educate students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It’s also officers like my dad who stop on their way home from work to make sure that you and your family, who just got into a crash, are okay, and that emergency crews are on their way. Because of my dad, and officers like him, everything in our city is safer.

Please remember that the majority of officers in America do not wake up in the morning with the mindset that they’re going to kill someone that day. But the nature of the profession indeed means that each officer, when faced with a life-threatening situation, must decide on a course of action. Every profession has a select few that take things to the extreme and make bad decisions in the heat of the moment. Across the country there are instances of preachers taking advantage of church members, cases of teacher student misconducts, and politicians cheating the system. Are we impeaching and putting targets on their backs too? 

Before you jump on the media driven bandwagon and start to feel like police officers deserve your ire, think about this; the next time your life or the life of someone you love is in danger, who will respond to your plea for help? 

So the point is, next time a police officer stops you for doing something wrong, remember how you got into that situation. It is your fault you are in trouble, not my dad’s. Before going off and getting loud and rude with an officer, be polite and speak like an adult. If nothing else please remember he is someone’s son, brother, husband, friend and dad. Remember he has a family, and what he does is out of the goodness of his heart. Stop the senseless killings America.