On any given week, local law enforcement officers respond to some 700 requests for service. They don’t stop to ask if the caller is black or white, Hispanic or Asian, rich or poor. They merely respond, ready to protect us and our families from whatever harm or danger may be lurking.
Each and every time they answer one of those calls, they potentially put themselves in the line of fire, flying blindly into an unknown situation, risking their own lives to save those across our great county.
Much like a soldier who walks onto a battlefield prepared to give his or her life for their country, police officers, Highway Patrol troopers and sheriff’s deputies stand at the ready to protect and defend, to the death if they must, believing it is their sworn duty to do so.
Despite what some would have us believe, of all the calls officers respond to on a given week, very few actually require use of force. Nationally, the statistics, while stretching into the millions, mirror that of officers locally, with hundreds of thousands of calls responded to on a weekly basis and just a handful necessitating force.
Sadly, what we hear on television and from extremist groups paints a far different picture. It is that unbalanced view that stirs hatred and breeds unrest, making even the most appreciative of citizens wary.
We are fortunate in Sampson County to recognize what great public servants we have in our law enforcement community — men and women who always go above and beyond to help. They are our friends and our neighbors, the people we sit beside in church, the ones who watch over our children at ballgames, the individuals who give to charitable organizations, cheer on our youth and work elbow to elbow with us on any number of fundraisings across our community.
They are not the enemy. They are the backbone of our domestic defense, the public servants always ready to respond, there to help not to hurt.
In the wake of the senseless killings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, we felt the need to remind our community of those we should never take for granted, and offer our public support to those who wear the uniform.
We cannot thank our law enforcement officers — whether they wear the uniform of a policeman, a deputy, a trooper — enough for the jobs they do, for the service they give, for the brave way they put themselves on the front line for us all.
We know the last few weeks have left them saddened for their fallen brothers and sisters and wary of a climate that exposes them to even more danger that could be lurking around every corner, yet you cannot see it in the jobs they do. They’ve never waivered in their response time, never hesitated to answer the call, never once questioned the jobs they have sworn to carry out every day.
They are men and women of great integrity and we are proud to call them our officers, without question Sampson County’s finest.