For decades, Nick has had a habit of calling out a warning to those who are leaving our home: “Watch out for the police!” I don’t know what the initial event was that precipitated his caution. I do know that we have repeatedly told people to drive the speed limit in our small town, because the local officers diligently do their traffic control job. But how Nick converted hearing this advice to his boisterous strong warning admonition, I don’t know.
Nevertheless, Nick really likes the police. Recently we were shopping and he noticed two officers and began a conversation with them. They were really nice guys. They were so patient and kind to Nick, while answering his question of, “What do you do?” They were impressed when he remarked, “Thank you for your service.” When he also asked them his usual question of, “You met my mom before?” we all laughed. Mostly because I hadn’t met them before and in the course of their professional duties, I typically wouldn’t want to meet the police.
This brief encounter has given me much to think about. My obvious aversion to meeting police while they are discharging their duties isn’t really laughable. Obviously I don’t intend to be involved in illegal activities, but there is so much more that law enforcement does for us in our society. Just their very presence can be the deterrent needed for everyone to remain law abiding. Just notice what the traffic does when an officer is driving on the opposite side of the road.
I know that there are some bad apples within the police force, but not all cops are bad. The vast majority of officers are conscientiously serving their community. Those two officers we met while shopping were genuinely concerned about Nick and I appreciated it. In light of the current social upheaval and climate of violence constantly in the news, it’s important that we examine our own behaviors and beliefs to make sure we are helping to solve, and not exacerbate, the problem.
So Nick is right, I think that we should watch out for the police. We need them in our communities and they are serving us.
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