This evening, I had the opportunity to go have a couple of beers with my buddy, The Happy Medic. As we are wont to do, we started telling stories about our various adventures in the realm of public service. At one point, I was struck by a need to talk with the Silent Majority.
If you don’t know what that means, allow me to define it for you.
The Silent Majority are the lion’s share of the citizenry that supports what the police do. They are the ones that line the streets and the overpasses when one of us gives our lives to protect them. They are the ones that drop off cookies at the PD to say thank you. They are the ones that, for whatever reason, don’t defend us in the media, be it traditional or social, but instead consciously decide to stay quiet for fear of offending or for fear of upsetting the apple cart.
You are the ones to whom I direct this missive.
After nearly 16 years, I feel no small comfort in speaking for those of my ilk. Those that leave their families to defend yours. Those that put their personal lives aside, at great peril, to ensure your safety. I am not addressing the vocal minority that disparage and degrade what we do and who we are. They are not the intended audience.
You are. My readers. My friends.
We need you.
I need you.
All too often lately, I am inundated by negativity in the social sphere. I see nothing but derision and hatred for who I am. For what I do.
I, and those I serve with, decide to leave our loved ones every single day. We don’t know if we will return to our homes. The homes in which we are loved, the homes that provide us support and affection. We certainly don’t do it for money. We don’t do it for accolades. Regardless of what popular culture and the mainstream media would like you to think, we aren’t hateful, power-hungry people.
Asinine is the person that takes this gig with delusions of grandeur and ultimate power.
It doesn’t exist. It is a fool’s pipe dream.
I don’t write to you tonight with the hopes that you will comment and tell me I’m a swell guy. I don’t need your pity nor your pats on the back. I am writing to you for much bigger reasons.
I want to talk with you about your Silence.
Your Silence is deafening and it is weakening the resolve our police officers. Going to work each day to “support your brothers and sisters” works for quite some time…but that time is finite. The Vocal are trying as hard as they can to counteract anything you may hope to accomplish by your cookie delivery or your seldom “thank you” uttered to a uniformed officer.
The time has come to be Silent no more. I know in my heart, in my very soul, that I am not alone in feeling the undertow of malice that the Vocal are trying their damnedest to suck us all into. I have just a few weeks over four years before I punch my ticket and hit retirement. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t generations behind me waiting to pick up the mantle I very much look forward to setting down.
Oh, Silent Majority, you will do yourself a great disservice by letting the Vocal continue their verbal (and often physical) battery of my future brothers and sisters. You can’t let them be whittled down faster than generations past.
Your first responders need you. They need you to overthrow the Vocal and be Silent no more. Take back the Vocal moniker from those that would use it to whittle us down, to break our will, to destroy us.
Your time is now. You can turn this tide. You can do more than say “Thank You”. You can do more than stand on the side of the road as hundreds of us ride by to bury another brother. You can express your support.
You can drown out the cacophony of misguided and opportunistic fools that decided to capitalize on tragedy to further their own agenda.
When I see friends and family posting what they fully believe are legitimate questions of the “establishment”, but don’t take into consideration the facts or differing perspectives, it is both personally painful and disappointing as well as frustrating. That doesn’t mean I am dismissing legitimate concerns or legal questions.
Quite the opposite.
I am all for mature discussion about legal issues in which both sides are respectful and open-minded. I have changed my opinion a time or two and I fully expect those I interact with to be open to the possibility they may have been misinformed as well.
To the point, I recently spoke with a woman who happens to be of African descent. We were able to sit down for 30 minutes and talk like two adults about the current state of community relations. It was one of the better conversations I’ve had in my law enforcement career.
Do you know why?
Because I knew the bottom line was she supports the WHY of my job. She supports me. And if I worked in her community, I believe she knows that I would be willing to sacrifice my life to protect her.
You can see that conversation here.
In conclusion, Silent Majority, I pray that you sincerely consider my request to drop the Silent and take back the Vocal. I can’t tell you the positive impact it would have on your police department. 99.7% of the men and women that have taken the oath to protect and serve meant every word of it. It would behoove you to let the world know you support them.
None of us likes the 0.03% of the cops that suck. Believe me. We want them gone just as much as you do. If for no other reason than they drag the rest of us down.