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By Jesse Utz 

It is time to appreciate the badge

Jess Shut Up


One of my best friends is a cop. As a matter of fact, I can think of about 10 people I consider friends who are police officers around the country. I was a reserve officer once, myself. I wore a uniform and a badge and qualified with a gun to use only when absolutely necessary. I moved on to the fire and EMS field but remained friends with them and still worked beside them daily. I know firsthand what an officer must deal with during every shift. I also know that the average citizens interaction with law enforcement is only during those times in our lives that we really need help or someone needs help from us. Yes, even here in Coulee Country, we have no idea what is happening during a long shift with our protectors who are out there even when we think they are just drinking coffee and eating donuts.

So the time has come in America that we better start honoring these men and women of blue. Our military are our defenders at our borders and around the globe, but the local cops are the ones protecting our backyards, schools and streets. The events that have happened in Dallas, Baton Rouge and other places within our borders is absolutely disgusting. No matter the reasoning or who is behind it, this is America, not some third-world country, and it is time we start acting like it.

The question is, What can I do? Well, I have some ideas, but first lets start by using our rights as citizens of the USA. Voice our opinions. The radicals are using theirs, and most of us are just sitting back, shaking our heads. But we need to drown out the negativity out there with our own voice, and that voice should be a voice of love — love of God, family and country.

Here is my proposal for what we can do locally. We need to start appreciating our local men and women in blue. Number one, stop bad-mouthing them. Number two, start telling them, Thank You. When you see them in the store or in a restaurant, tell them you are standing with them. Some advice: don't approach them when they are working, especially right now with the events going on around the world, but wait until they are not engaged with something. Flag them down as they are on patrol by your home and tell them, thank you. Go to city hall and have them pass it on, write letters, express your feelings in a council meeting. We need to encourage our cops.

Maybe our city councils can get the ball rolling by having a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day when we would have block parties in each city and invite our brave protectors as guests of honor a barbecue for the citizens and the law officers who protect them. It would be a chance to interact with each other as friends and community members, a chance for the local citizens to tell a local cop how much they helped us and that we appreciate them wholeheartedly.

Or we can send cards to our local police, drop off a plate of cookies, or buy their coffee at their favorite barista shop. The things we can do are endless, but the bottom line is we need to let them know of our loyalty to them as our first line of defense in this chaotic atmosphere currently engulfing us all.

The family of Blue is currently under attack nationwide, and we need to unite as a nation to heal the scar that is forming before it becomes an epidemic from which we cannot recover. The cops who were murdered in Texas, Louisiana and around the nation will never get to hear the words I am asking you to speak, but their brothers and sisters of the badge can. We need to say this loud and clear.

So I would like to thank Grand Coulee Police Department, Coulee Dam Police Department, The Colville Tribal Police Department, Washington State Patrol and the county sheriffs for their hard work, dedication and courage. I am glad you are out there doing your jobs, and I pray that God protects you as you protect me. Thank you.

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