Thanking my Rescuers
The other night I watched in horror as protesters subjected police officers to spitting, heavy items tossed at them, screaming, yelling, and insulting even their families. I’m not an innocent, and I know there are bad cops just like there are bad people in other professions. The difference is that except for firemen, no one has ever come to my rescue like a police officer.
My relationship with the police has been one of respect and humility when confronted. When a Louisiana State Trooper pulled me over for an expired inspection sticker, I accepted my responsibility. When I turned right into an intersection in Baton Rouge, right in front of three motorcycle policemen, when I was supposed to wait for an arrow, I was angry but owned up to the ticket. Not long ago a tiny Texas state trooper stopped me on one of the busiest roads in Houston and asked me if I knew why I’d been pulled over. It wasn’t just because I was going over the speed limit, which everyone in Northwest Harris County does on that stretch, but because I once again had an expired inspection sticker. I said yes sir, no sir, and didn’t argue because that’s the way my mama taught me. No matter what the color of your skin, you don’t argue or provoke a law officer. Living in New Orleans, especially with NOPD and Mardi Gras, reinforced that. Even if you think they’re wrong, you back down and never, never argue.
There are other reasons I give lawmen and women my respect. My mother was physically abused by my father, beaten by his huge hands, by his ugly words. We were stalked at night when I was a child, not by him, but someone else. One rainy night on 1-10 a Louisiana State Trooper rescued me when my low flying guardian angels were getting exhausted. Another night two Jefferson Parish deputies came out to rescue me from another stalker. Then there were the two Louisiana State Troopers, who worked the accident where my sports car had been forced off 1-20 into a marshy ditch by an 18 wheeler.
Lastly, there are Harris County deputies who responded to my store robbery and attempted break-ins, vandalism, and neighborhood theft. These guys never know what they’ll find reporting on a call. Each one may take their life, widow their spouses, and leave their children with one less parent. These folks are heroes, and deserve our respect, our children’s respect, good pay, excellent equipment and community support.
These lawmen keep us safe at night, snug in our beds while they take care of the bad guys and keep our communities strong. They are not the enemy.
There’s no place for racism or bad cops in the United States. Nowhere. And we need to encourage more people of every ethnic group to enter law enforcement, to see it as a good career supported by the good people of our country. If it’s a career vilified by all, why should good people want to make a career of it? To be seen as the enemy, despite their innocence?
I’m not fooling myself when I say I sleep because sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, police officers and other law enforcement professionals are keeping watch in my city and county. Thank you very much.