Special to The Source
Monday, January 9, 2017, was a day set aside nationally to honor our law enforcement officers. Why? Every day, law enforcement officers serve sacrificially – often in dangerous or complicated situations – so that civilians can live peacefully and safely, without fear of crime and violence.
These officers deserve our deepest thanks and respect. However, in the news, they have been increasingly targeted and ostracized. Headlines from the past twelve months show that 2016 was a tough year for law enforcement nationwide. Many officers probably worked harder and in more difficult situations than ever before, and in return, many of them did not receive the thanks or the honor that their service deserved.
On January 9, across the nation, many individuals set out to change that in small, but growing, nationwide movement. According to Heather Cotter, of www.policeone.com, “every January 9th, the National Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) encourages everyone to show support for the more than 900,000 law enforcement officers in America. National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) is a way to show the men and women in blue how much we value them.”
In Jacksonville, some local students spent a portion of their classroom time writing letters of thanks (complete with pictures of squad cars) to their police officers. Several local individuals came together for a day of baking cinnamon rolls to deliver to the Jacksonville and South Jacksonville police stations. And all across town, whenever civilians encountered policemen, they stopped to say, “Thank you.”
Other ways that individuals can celebrate L.E.A.D is by sharing positive stories of law enforcement on social media, wearing blue clothing and displaying blue lights.
These small, but meaningful tokens of gratefulness are things that civilians could and should give each day, not just on the national day to honor police officers and other servicemen. Every hour of every day, and every day of the year, police officers serve our community. That means, for every hour of every day, they deserve our deepest thanks, our wholehearted support and our sincerest prayers.
Heather Cotter of www.policeone.com states, “These men and women have taken an oath to serve and protect everyone in the community. They wake up, do their job and never know if they will return home to their own family. Now, more than ever, we must take the stand to show that we support our heroes.”
For more information on L.E.A.D day, visit www.facebook.com/nationalcops.