Appreciate, Support, and Compensate Law Enforcement

Monday, March 25th, 2024 @ 12:34AM

For most Americans, the word combat conjures images of American servicemen and women fighting foreign enemies in scorching deserts or steamy jungles on the other side of the world. Unfortunately, what many Americans do not realize is that a form of combat, every bit as dangerous and deadly, is occurring daily in America’s inner cities and rural towns. On the front lines of this combat are America’s law enforcement personnel, men and women motivated by a desire to make America a safer place to live and, sometimes, paying the ultimate price for their efforts.

I served combat rotations in Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2009, each time assigned to a remote forward operating base, otherwise referred to as a “FOB.” In Iraq I left the FOB on 11 missions and in Afghanistan on 17 missions. Each time the up-armored vehicles in our convoy took “rounds,” that is, were shot at by enemy forces. In war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, one comes to expect taking rounds. But here in the US, taking rounds is something no one should ever come to expect. Unfortunately, somewhere in America, law enforcement personnel are taking rounds nearly every day.

However, being shot at isn’t the only danger facing America’s law enforcement personnel. Physical altercations are, in fact, all in a day’s work for most of our men and women in blue. Whether apprehending criminal suspects, breaking up street fights, or separating irate family members in the heat of domestic disputes, law enforcement personnel all too often become the subject of physical attacks.

Given the dangers these individuals regularly face, what does society offer them in return for their sacrifices? Well, when it comes to compensation, not nearly enough. In fact, if remuneration were directly proportional to the amount of physical danger an individual encounters during the performance of his or her job duties, our law enforcement personnel would be the highest paid professionals in America (with the possible exception of US military personnel engaged in combat operations).

As if this disparity between danger faced and compensation received isn’t unfair enough, there are the assorted misguided knuckleheads and malcontents who demand American cities defund their police departments. This utter lunacy is nothing less than a slap in the face to the men and women of law enforcement who risk much, including their very lives, in the line of duty. And, in the event these ingrates find themselves facing dire circumstances and in desperate need of assistance, to whom would they cry for help? Indeed, they would yell for the very people they insult and disparage – the men and women of law enforcement.

Call me old fashioned, an anachronism, even a dinosaur, yet, I have always believed, and still do believe, that as a free society, it is time to realign our priorities, put our money where our mouths are, and appreciate, support, and appropriately compensate our law enforcement personnel for the services they provide and the risks they take in doing so. After all, in an increasingly chaotic America, the men and women in blue are our last line of defense standing between us and anarchy.

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