Why stand with cops?
A welcome from Ohio FOP President Jay McDonald
It's a tough time to be a cop.
I've been proud to wear the badge for more than 20 years. I've tried to make a real difference in my community. But things are different now and I'm not sure I can encourage my children to follow in my footsteps.
Today, my brothers and sisters in blue are expected to solve crimes, prevent danger, and serve our community — all while wearing a target on our back. Too many people want to see us dead. But we can’t hide in an office. Our work is out on the street.
And as we deal with that deadly danger each day, we also face the fear that someone who didn’t agree with how we did our job will accuse us of wrongdoing. Everyone make mistakes, but these days police officers do their job while under the often unfair scrutiny of anti-police activists, reporters looking for a big story, and politicians who want to get votes.
Our critics demand that we scrupulously follow ever-shifting rules of engagement as we try to pursue and capture the most dangerous and violent people in our society. And those we seek to apprehend have no such rules of engagement for themselves. They will beat us, stab us, and shoot us if they think it will help them escape.
We're expected to know our communities, be present in schools, and be visible to citizens but we have to do it while being under-staffed and struggling to simply answer each call that comes in; sometimes without any backup.
When we confront someone who a dispatcher or a crime victim says is potentially dangerous, we're expected to know in a split second if that person is grabbing for a gun or just reaching for ID. Our detractors, acting as armchair police commanders, claim that we ought to be able to recognize the difference between someone who’s not following our directions because of a bad day and someone who is escalating a dangerous situation.
And while all this plays out, our families hope and pray that we simply come home safe at the end of our shift.
We chose this job. Most of the time, we love our work. But there’s no doubt that it’s a tough time to be a cop.
So when people step up and “stand with cops,” that helps us. Our spirits lift. Our outlook brightens. That’s when we know that we’re not alone in this dangerous work.
Please join “stand with cops."
Ohio Fraternal Order of Police
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