Yesterday I watched my husband walk out the door in his dress blues. He was leaving to honor and pay his respects to Officer Jeffrey Westerfield who was killed in the line of duty on July 6, 2014. As a former police officer and wife of a state trooper when I see a law enforcement officer killed, I think they were killed by someone who was not taught respect. No matter your opinion of law enforcement officers you should respect them as they may save your life one day.
To date, 62 officers have given the ultimate sacrifice protecting communities they swore to serve. This is an increase of 11% from last year. To honor those officers I would like to encourage you to show kindness to the next officer you meet.
Here are a couple of ways you can show kindness:
1. When you see an officer pulled over on the side of the road, slow down and move over to the other lane. This may save their life.
2. Say Thank you!
3. If an officer provides you assistance take a minute to write his/her department a thank you note for their personnel file.
4. How many times have you seen an officer going through the drive-thru or sitting down for dinner on their shift? Pay for their meal.
5. If you know a police family, offer to babysit or make a meal for the family.
6. Make a donation to a law enforcement charity. Two of my favorite charities are the Gary Dudley Memorial Foundation (no longer active) which was established to award college scholarships to children of police officers killed in the line of duty in Indiana or the Trooper Patrick Flag Fund (no longer active) which provides a burial flag to the family of fallen officers.
7. Send a card to a department or the family of a fallen officer. Information about fallen officer can be found through the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Being a police officer, for the most part, is a thankless job. I guarantee just by saying thank you the next time you see an officer it will brighten their day.
Stephanie L. Jones is a daily gift giver and you can follow her gift giving at www.facebook.com/1makingadifference2. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker at Giving Gal, LLC.