Dr. Ray Augenstein
I don’t know about you, but when I heard about Trooper Paul Butterfield being killed by an Individual, he had stopped for a traffic violation, I was appalled. Not everyone thinks of police officers as being their friends. In fact, they are portrayed as lurking predators, waiting for some unsuspecting individual to fall into their trap. It’s true that nobody likes to get pulled over, especially when they’re in a hurry to get somewhere. However a police officer’s duties are much more than watching for someone to pounce on.
I read on the side of a police car these words, “to Protect and Serve” Now I know that in any society, there are some good and some bad. The same way in public office. There are those who let their authority go to their heads. I also know if someone is having a rough day, it will be displayed in their attitudes. But I know that most of the police officers are not police officers just to wear a badge and to have the power of its authority. Most, Like Trooper Butterfield, really care about our safety and protection. Our fear of receiving, a ticket is a way of getting us to drive more responsibly. These officers work to keep the highways safe, not only for those who keep the law, but for those who thumb their noses at it as well.
I don’t know about you, but I have had friends killed in traffic accidents. I have witnessed accidents that were caused by someone who didn’t want to obey the Law. Most tragically is to officiate a funeral of an innocent child that was killed as a result of someone who didn’t want to obey the Law. I had a friend that chose to drive while intoxicated. He took his car and sped off down the road at a high rate of speed, there was not any traffic but there was a curve, He went straight off the road, into a grove of trees and ended up brain damaged.
These brave men and women of the police force are put into harm’s way every day. It’s not Iraq, or Afghanistan, but it is a war zone none the less. They are the ones who elect to stand in the gap, between the law abiding citizen and those who would do harm to others. They are called upon to be a Priest, a Counselor, a compassionate friend, a protector, and a Warrior. They comfort the injured, the family, and the bereaved. They are a fierce defender of our rights, and will face the guns of those who are trying to take away from the defenseless, the weak and the infirm.
I salute you, Men and women in blue, brown, gray, or whatever color your Uniform may be. I salute you not because of the Uniform, or the Badge, or the Gun you carry on your hip. But I salute you for the men/women you are inside. I salute you for the heart of compassion, the tears you try not to shed. I salute you for the bravery you display, when facing the enemy of society, who would take away my freedom, and putting yourself in danger. For all this “I salute you”.