Earlier this month, we celebrated Independence Day. But did you stop to think about how our American law enforcement officers contribute to that independence as you were enjoying the festivities? While the US troops help conserve our country’s freedom, police officers ensure we get those daily freedoms that we offer take for granted.
How do police officers accomplish this?
- They protect our rights to free speech – during the most controversial public events; police officers are often present to ensure that everyone is well protected. Without their presence, the general public may not allow individuals to speak publicly about things that tend to elicit highly emotional responses. This is not always appreciated, depending on which side of an issue each individual stands on. But remember how important it is to be able to speak up proudly about something that you’re passionate about!
- They offer physical protection – without a police presence to improve our safety, we might not have the freedom to go about our business outside of our homes. Sure, crimes can still occur, but criminals modify their behavior based on that risk of getting caught by law enforcement. Would you feel as safe to walk outside in your neighborhood after dark if there weren’t a protective presence? Would you feel safe getting on an interstate knowing that other drivers can be as unsafe as they’d like because the roads are not patrolled?
- They protect our rights to have personal property – sometimes, when there is a dispute over personal property, it is necessary for a third party to step in and moderate the issue. This is the role of police whether the dispute occurring is a domestic issue, or whether a crime has taken place.
- They protect our privacy – by enforcing trespassing, stalking, and other relevant laws, police ensure that we receive privacy. People do not have the right to enter our personal space, and it is breaking the law if they do so.
Independence Day may not be designed to celebrate law enforcement, but it is always a good time to reflect upon the positive impact police officers have on our day-to-day lives. As we remember this, let’s recognize that while they do all of this to protect us, we’ve also got to protect them!