General Grant said “war is hell” and for military cops, no
matter what branch of service, this is true. Air Force cops are
the first ones in and the last ones out. Nothing gets done in
the Air Force without the cops there. The next time you see the
President of the United States walking down the ramp from Air
Force One, notice who is standing at the bottom of the stairs.
It is two Air Force cops. They have been flying with the
President since Truman first took to the air.
National Police Week 2010 occurs May 9th through 15th,
when cops honor their fellow cops. President Kennedy started
this back in 1962. There are over 870,000 sworn law enforcement
officers in the US and this is not including all the military
police of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and my big
Air Force. This is the largest number of officers in or
history. Approximately 11.7 percent of these cops are women.
The first recorded death of an American police officer was
in 1792. Since then more than 16,500 law enforcement officers
have been killed in the line of duty. 14,010 of these deaths
were from 1900 to 1998. Not everyone is a fan of the police. I
am a retired Air Force cop, a former State Police Officer, I
spent a couple of years with a city police department, and I
am currently a Colorado Ranger and like you I don't want to see
“cop-car” lights flashing in my rear window. However I sure
like the idea that I can dial 911 and have help on its way.
The US has the most sophisticated police response
capabilities in the world. Believe it or not most cops don't
like flashing their lights and pulling you over in your
vehicle. Traffic stops and responding to domestic disturbances
in people's homes is the most dangerous time in a policeman's
work day. For policemen the number one cause of death is
getting shot and a lot of this happens when an officer is
outside his patrol car on a lonely country road or breaking up a
fight between two people who allegedly love each other.
The number four killer of police officers is job related
illness. You can not imagine the amount and severity of the
toxic substances and toxic people a cop comes in contact with
every day. It has been said law enforcement is dirty work, I
guess the death rate of police officers proves that out. On
average a police officer is killed every 53.5 hours in this
Our military police are in harms way everyday in Iraq. Some
of these young military police members are National Guard and
Reserve cops who only do this part time. Some are full time
civilian cops and part time military police. These fallen cops
in camouflage need also to be remembered this National Police
Week. A police officer is a target every time they go to work
and many times even when they are not at work. But what other
career field expects an employee to be prepared each day; to
save a life, help deliver a life, be ready to take a life and if
need be surrender your life?
I can not think of any other work that expects all this and
still puts an employee out there by themselves. Oklahoma has
lost 360 police officers, with an average age of 38 years old.
During National Police Week if you would please, tie a blue
ribbon on your vehicle antenna to show your support for law
enforcement. We are honoring those men and women who have made
the supreme sacrifice to serve and protect you the public.