Let’s Honor Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice By Honoring Those Who Continue To Serve…
This August, it will have been 20 years since I first pinned on my badge to my neatly pressed uniform. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I just wanted my first day to go smoothly and make a difference in the community that entrusted me to be the best officer that I could. I can remember my first traffic stop…my hands would not stop shaking. In time, I became more confident and continued to work hard.
In 20 years of Law Enforcement, I have seen the worst in our society and the best. I remember 9/11 and how it made me physically sick learn about how many first responders gave the ultimate sacrifice that day. I remember the day a fellow colleague with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Clifton Taylor, was shot to death during a routine call. Truly, no call is routine to a police officer. A memory that still haunts me to this day was when I responded to the death of an infant and later learned that the father had killed the infant because he would not stop crying. I will no doubt live with these memories forever, but they will not define my career. I have also seen drug addicts turn their life around, communities coming together in times of tragedy and neighbors helping neighbors and those are the moments that will define my career.
Since I have been the Chief of Police of Italy (almost 2 years now), I have witnessed how much the officers with our department truly care and dedicate themselves to make the community a better place to live. Not for themselves…but for the citizens they serve. They make daily sacrifices and sometimes have helped citizens with their own money and time. They have immersed themselves into the community and have developed a new trust and relationship to all members of the community.
This week, we will remember fallen officers throughout the nation and we will remember their individual sacrifices on May 15th. Please also remember the ones that continue to put on that uniform everyday knowing that their “ultimate sacrifice” may be today. If you see an officer on the street, tell them Thank You for their service. Other ways to say “thank you”:
- Businesses put thank you signs in windows
- Homeowners can have kids make thank you signs for the yard
- Make a dessert for the officers