Officer’s Touching Message: ‘Prayer Is All I’ve Got’
Bakersfield PD Officer’s Touching Message: ‘Prayer Is All I’ve Got’
On Monday, Bakersfield Police Department posted a message from an anonymous officer (presumably with Bakersfield PD) who lays out the emotional state of law enforcement throughout the country.
FROM AN ANONYMOUS LOCAL OFFICER – WRITTEN YESTERDAY
I got up today and thought to myself “don’t forget to take the mourning band off your badge tomorrow”
Looks like it won’t be coming off after all.
I know that many of us are filled with anger and frustration. We are saying things like “enough” and “we stand with you…” and “the thin blue line.. “and “Godspeed”…
I would typically jump on my soap box, beat my hands on my chest and profess to anyone listening how upset, disappointed and angry I am!! I’d try to put into words the reality that LEO’s are facing daily and how that affects us individually and collectively. How it also affects our families…The fear, worry and heartache they feel when we go to work every day.
I’d try to influence people that have doubts about the goals and intentions of most LEO’s…I’d try to explain how these latest events break our hearts and darken our spirit. I’d want them to grasp how much it hurts to be hated simply because of your profession.
I’d spend a great deal of energy and emotion trying to paint the picture of the men and women I know and have known over the past 28 years….The goodness that they’ve demonstrated day in and day out, the heroic actions I’ve seen demonstrated for strangers, the courage (emotional, spiritual and physical) that I’ve witness almost daily….
I’d tell them about the tears I’ve shed, the pain I’ve seen in the eyes of my peers, the fear I’ve felt, the struggles I’ve witnessed between good evil…right and wrong.
I’d want them to know how incredibly difficult some assignments are….How looking into the abyss of humanity changes a person.
I’d want them to understand what it’s like to drive by or even think about a location or address…and vividly recall the human tragedy that place represents to you.
I’d try to help them understand why holidays don’t hold the same meaning for me that they once did. How holidays have come to represent other human tragedies…bad things, really bad things happen on holidays and you just can’t unsee them or forget them.
I’d do my best to explain the pain…I mean REAL pain I feel when I recall certain events. When I recall some sounds that go right to my core; a mother’s wails that will forever haunt me, the anguish of a child recalling horrible experiences, the voice of a friend over the radio in distress…the sound of a roll call when an officer doesn’t answer the radio, the sound of shots being fired nearby ..But no idea who is being shot at..
I’d try to put into words how I’ve experienced smells that are now locked into my memory and sometimes just thinking about them takes me back to whatever event I associate with that smell. Not the good smells like early morning coffee, my grandmother’s perfume or fresh rain. The smell of drywall dust in the air after a car plowed through a home, the smell of sulfur from burning flares at a crash site, the smell of filth in a home where kids are being neglected, the unmistakable odor of burning brakes after a code 3 response and the awful odor of a wool uniform after a torrential downpour at a crime scene and the smell of death. I can’t adequately describe it but I’ll never forget it.
I’d do all of these things; explain, describe, share…..All with the hope that it might help people understand that behind every badge is a heart.
But today I can’t. I can’t emotionally afford to keep making deposits into the bank of humanity.
Every LEO I know, EVERY one of them, have done the same. We’ve all made these deposits of love, dedication, sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears with the understanding that it’s an investment in our society. That someday when we need it, we’ve earned and are entitled to a withdrawal… Perhaps a withdrawal in the form of “the benefit of doubt” or just a touch of patience and understanding.
But the bank of consideration is bankrupt.
I’ve learned in life that you cannot, CANNOT, change a person’s value or beliefs. I will NEVER be able to truly change the hearts and minds of those that oppose us.
So today, with the events of Dallas still fresh and painful, we are now dealing with Baton Rouge; and the countless others before and the unimaginable others to come…
I will pray.
I will pray for my family, my profession, my country. I will pray for God to bring peace, clarity, tolerance and guidance.
I will pray for those that have been taught to hate us. I will pray that something, anything, everything changed their heart.
I will pray for the courage to continue.
At this point, I fear that all the arguing, protests, demonstrations, signs, actions and hopes have been exhausted.
Prayer is all I’ve got. ????
This officer’s feelings represent how thousands of American law enforcement officers are feeling right now. Many in the communities that we have sworn to protect have turned against us. Thankfully, there are still people willing to openly support us.
Thank you for sharing, officer.