Police advocates are calling for politicians to stand with America’s blue line against crime.
Dozens of police officers have lost their lives in 2019, including 30 to homicide. The homicides target all police officers, no matter their years behind a badge.
22-year-old California police officer Natalie Corona was shot and killed in January after stopping at a car accident. An ex-convict opened fire on the police officer and emptied his magazine into her. He even reloaded afterwards and fired again. Corona became a cop to follow in the footsteps of her police officer father.
North County Police officer Michael Langsdorf was killed over two decades on the job. After approaching a man allegedly using a bad check, the two men got into a physical altercation. The suspect eventually struck Langsdorf in the head and then shot and killed him.
146 officers have reportedly taken their own lives this year, according to B.L.U.E. HELP, a pro-police nonprofit.
“When you are talking about police suicides, it’s at epidemic proportions in America now,” Randy Sutton, the leader of Wounded Blue, an organization that helps wounded police officers, told Fox News. Sutton is also a former Las Vegas police officer.
Not a lot of attention is being paid to the sacrifices first responders make. Negative media stories have turned a good portion of the public against police in general. Just look at recent videos of people dousing New York City cops in water for no apparent reason. Police officers hold a divisive place in the culture right now, and advocates for first responders are ready for that to change.
“Before you verbally attack or chastise a police officer, look at the number of contacts police officers have in the country every day,” Jim Pasco, the executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said to Fox News. “The number of times an incident goes poorly and there is room to question an officer’s judgment, you will find that it’s infinitesimally small.”
Pasco believes cops are too often judged, especially by politicians, for the mistakes of one particular person wearing a uniform.
“Demagoguery has become part of the political stock and trade,” he said.
“Cities and governments need to understand and respect law enforcement in such a way that they make the job safe for the officers: give them decent pay, decent training and decent benefits,” Sutton adds.
He added that there needs to be “a turnaround of the narrative” when it comes to police officers in the United States.
Many also believe the negative sentiments about cops being pushed by the media and politicians are hurting the job performance of the first responders.
“The demonization, the anti-police rhetoric, the new laws and policies that undermine public safety – it all sends a clear message that cops on the street are effectively on our own,” Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, told Fox News. As a result, criminals feel emboldened to not only prey on the public, but to attack police officers as well.”
Just look at the Starbucks employee who recently asked police officers to leave their establishment because they did not “feel safe.”
Or the Burger King employee who drew a picture of a pig on a cop’s sandwich.
These are small examples but they show a larger turn in public trust. Many no doubt disagree about what needs to be done, but there’s no denying that something does, in fact, need to be done.
On a positive note, there are still those who support the police and do so very publicly. “Forrest Gump” actor and veteran advocate Gary Sinise recently made headlines for using his foundation to build smart homes for two wounded police officers.
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