WEBCommentary Guest

Author: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  January 9, 2006

Topic category:  Other/General

Two words.

Two police officers were recently injured here in Everett. It happened while they were investigating a disturbance at a local apartment.

According to reports, the officers were attacked when they entered the apartment. One was stabbed and the other bitten while they were trying to subdue their attacker.

Even a cursory sampling of news from across the country would show that such incidents - and far worse - are not at all uncommon.

For that reason:

To every officer who’s ever walked up to the still-smoking mass of metal that was once a car and then had to deal with the carnage caused by inattention, road rage, alcohol, black ice, blown tires, and the hundred-and-one other things that can lead to what’s left inside.

To every officer who’s ever been dispatched at "oh-dark-thirty" to check out the report of an intruder knowing full well that "backup" is still several minutes away, but immediately starts the job anyway.

To every officer who’s ever swallowed the two quarts adrenaline coursing through his system after a high-speed chase and has then dealt professionally with the butt head behind the wheel without giving in to the overwhelming urge to introduce that individual to the "hurt locker."

To every officer who’s learned the hard way that the word "routine" can turn into "life threatening" in a heartbeat.

To every officer who’s ever responded to a domestic violence call and has then had to wade into a situation bubbling with anger and hostility in an attempt to sort out the ugliness that only human beings can create.

To every officer who’s ever seen children who’ve been beaten, burned, maimed, abused, or killed by some deranged piece of societal offal and has then had to try and clear those images from her mind before going home to her own family.

To every officer who’s dealt with far too many rapes, stabbings, shootings, robberies, beatings, or killings and has silently wondered if he’s making any difference at all.

To every officer who’s ever been the first through a door – not knowing who or what might be waiting on the other side of that door.

To every officer who’s ever been asked "why don’t you just shoot to wound in a dangerous situation" and has not just turned and walked away from the questioner.

To every officer who’s ever stood on a police line and been spit at, cursed, bombarded with eggs, tomatoes and Lord knows what else, while trying to preserve the peace for a society all too ready to blame him for any violence that might ensue.

To every officer who’s ever stopped, stared up at the sky, and wondered just what the hell is going in our system of justice when the career felon she just arrested for the umpteenth time is back on the streets the next day – or even before her shift is over.

To every officer who’s gone out of his way to help a citizen in trouble and has never been thanked for so doing because: (a) no one else saw it and, (b) he’d never mention it himself since "it’s just part of the job."

To every officer who’s ever answered a "shots fired" or an "officer down" call and, on arrival, found the "Holy (Stuff) Meter" pegged, the "pucker factor" skyrocketing, the bad guys still shooting, and then had to hope that all of the training taken and gear issued would be enough to get through this one alive.

To every officer who knows full well that his every action can be endlessly second-guessed by a sometimes hostile citizenry well after the fact and in circumstances nowhere near as gut wrenching, confused, or heart pounding as when that action was taken.

To every officer who knows that, sometimes, at the first sign of political pressure, "alone and slowly twisting in the wind" is a position in which she might quickly find herself for just trying to do her job.

To every officer who’s seen the underbelly of society on a daily basis and still silently says, "Not in my area and never on my watch."

To every husband, wife, mom, dad, sister or brother who’s ever watched their loved one put on a uniform at the start of the day and silently wondered if they’d see them again at the end of that same day.

To the families of every officer who did not come home at the end of that day.

Two words.

Thank you.

We don’t say them often enough.

Not nearly often enough.

Larry Simoneaux

Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Copyright © 2006 by Larry Simoneaux
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