My inbox is flooded with questions regarding recent Police controversies. This is all I will say publicly on this blog–

My wife sent me this text message tonight while I was at work, “Be safe today.” That’s also how my 2 year old daughter, mother, father, and everyone else who cares about me sends me off.

Why is that farewell ritual significant? Because in my line of work – I could die. How many people can say that they go into work on a Tuesday and could be killed as a result of performing their job duties? Better yet - did you know that due to accumulated stress and a myriad of other issues, the average Police Officer lives only 10.6 years after retirement? That puts me dead at 65.

For those of you who know me best, you may think “wow, he has sure stayed quiet about all the Police related controversy recently.” Here’s what I will say:

Stop with the Anti Police Propaganda. Stop with the hate. Stop with the ignorance.

We are human beings and the lack of support and pure hatred for Law Enforcement professionals that has come out of recent tragedy is disgusting and prejudice. This is not an opportunity to deliver low blows to the good men and women who wear that uniform daily. This is an opportunity for dialogue, analysis, and change.

I am a Police Officer, but before that I am a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, and a photographer.

I have a soul.

Being a Police Officer does not define me. I am defined by all of the above and then some.

Do you know what it’s like to say goodbye to your family daily, knowing that you are purposely going to drive your car all night towards the danger? Do you know what it’s like to be in your 20’s and bury a good friend killed doing his job? Do you know what it’s like to have your mother tell you “I can sleep peacefully tonight” when you tell her you took the evening off? Do you know what’s it’s like to watch someone die? Do you know what it’s like to have your wife spend half of her life sleeping in an empty bed? Do you know what it’s like to show up to work and have almost every customer be someone who had no other option in life but to call 911? Do you know what it’s like to be in a legitimate fight for your life?

How about this –

Have you ever been spit on? Have you ever been hit? Have you had your property vandalized? Have you ever had someone cuss at you, threaten your life, threaten your family’s life? All because of the job you hold.

I have. And it’s not because I’m a bad cop – it’s because I am a cop. That’s the discrimination I endure.

Some of you will think “you signed up for that.” Other will say “thank you for what you do.”

I’m not writing this to elicit thank you’s. I’m writing this because I am hurt.

Hurt that society has turned it’s back on the people who risk their lives daily. Hurt that you are literally and figuratively throwing stones at us.

What kind of good human being is going to subject himself to this? Keep throwing stones and you will see the decent men and women in that profession seek a calling elsewhere.

Behind this badge is a soul. I am not your enemy.

We deserve the same respect and fairness you seek.

I love attention
I love being spoiled
I love being shown off
I love getting random kisses
I love getting random messages saying I thought about you today and I miss you
I love being loved
At the same time
I love showing attention
I love spoiling
I love showing off
I love to give kisses from when you fall asleep
Until you wake in the morning
I love sending messages
Telling you something made me think of you
And I can’t wait to be next to you
I love loving entirely
That’s who I was meant to be..