082114, Thoughts Of Appreciation

It was just a few days ago that I received my copy of “The Georgia Sheriff,” which tells of events of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, of which I am a proud Honorary Member. In this post, I would like to share my appreciation for the brave men and women of the various law enforcement agencies who serve our nation.

As a child, my father was a merchant seaman. He was gone for long periods of time, sometimes up to a six months. It was very easy for people to determine that my house was one without a man living there. I can remember a number of times when someone would be prowling around the house, where my mother, and younger brother and sister, and I lived. My mother never hesitated to call the local police department for someone to come and make sure that we were safe. I can remember these things happening from the time that I was eight years old, in Georgia, to when I was fourteen years old, when we were living in Louisiana. I was always glad to see the police officers arriving and walking around our yard, with their large flash lights scanning the dark areas. I can also remember a time when my wife and I were living in a restored house in a down town area. While we were asleep in bed, late one night, someone broke the window that was positioned above our bed. I called the local police department. Very quickly a crew of police officers arrived and made sure that we were safe. As when I was a child, the dark yard was checked by the officers with their large flash lights, scanning the area to ensure that no potential threat remained for us. I will never forget how the police officers always acted so quickly, professionally, and politely, to make sure my family and I were safe.

It was January, 1991. My grandmother had died. She had suffered a stroke and never recovered from it. I can remember the conversation that I had with my brother (now deceased) and my sister, as we were discussing our grandmother’s life. I told them that there was nothing for us to be sad about; after all, “Big Mama” was now with Jesus. The day of the funeral arrived. I can very vividly remember the funeral service at Sipple’s Mortuary in Savannah, Ga. The pastor was very assuring of my grandmother’s new home that was with Jesus and that her new life would be much better than the one that she had just recently left. When the service was over, and all of us began following Big Mama’s coffin as it was being rolled to the hearse, reality began to set into my mind. I began to realize that I would never see my grandmother again, until I would meet her in Heaven. The pain of losing her began to grip me in a way that I had never thought would be possible. As I was walking to the family car, a big and wonderful pastor friend, Brother Dave, saw me. He could tell the pain that I was feeling. He walked up to me and put his big arms around me and held me tightly, and prayed. That meant more to me than anyone could ever have imagined. I can remember the funeral procession leaving the parking lot. There were about thee Savannah police cars that began escorting us through the busy traffic of Abercorn Street, DeRenne Avenue, and Lynes Parkway. When we left the Savannah city limits, police cars of the Chatham County Police Department began escorting us on Interstate 16; we continued our procession to the cemetery where my grandmother would be buried in Statesboro, Ga. As we entered Effingham County, Sheriff’s Deputies of that county began escorting us. When we entered Bryan County, its Sheriff’s deputies took over the escort until we entered Bulloch County and were met by deputies of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department. They began escorting us, and continued until we reached the city limits of Statesboro. Then, we began to be escorted by a number of cars of the Statesboro Police Department. All along the way, from where we exited Interstate 16, until the time that we entered into the Eastside Cemetery, oncoming cars would see the blue flashing lights of the police cars and would pull over onto the shoulder of the road. When we began our turn into the cemetery, I noticed that a police officer had blocked traffic from all directions, was standing outside of his car “at attention,” and was holding his hat over his heart, and maintained that posture until after the hearse and family car had passed him. You can not imagine how grateful I felt; and, how thankful I was for all of the police officers and sheriff’s deputies that had made sure that our funeral procession made it safely to the cemetery. It is often that I remember the respect that was shown by that very special Statesboro police officer who had his hat over his heart; I will never forget his kindness.

If you have noticed, I use the titles of “police officer,” and “sheriff’s deputy.” I don’t say “cop.” That word shows a total local lack of respect for the men and women who put their lives on the lines for the safety of their communities every time that they report to work. Because of my work history, I have known many law enforcement officers. They have been male and female, white and black, and Christian and Jew. Some of them have been family members and personal friends. Some have been members of churches that I have attended. When I lived in St. Louis, which borders Ferguson,Mo, I knew police officers in that area, where “law enforcement” has recently come under fire from various political and news reporting agencies. All of the police officers that I have known, or met, have always been examples of what I would expect such people to be. I can remember back in the late 1970s when there was a heat emergency in the city of St. Louis. Its police officers went into high crime areas with people who were providing fans to elderly, poor, and black residents. Not much is said about acts of benevolence, such as those.

It is very sad that Michael Brown is dead. I was not present when he was shot and killed; neither were the looters, liberal news agencies, the governor of Missouri, or the Reverend from New York; all of whom have cast judgement on the police officer who shot Mr. Brown. Judgement of Officer Wilson should be held until the law runs its course.

From August 1 through August 21, there have been 27 murders in Chicago. Our nation’s attention should be placed on the following cities, and not Ferguson, MO, as it relates to murder. That attention should begin with our President. Our Attorney General should have serious conversations with the governors and mayors of the following cities that are known as the:

Six Cities With Worst Murder Rates In United States:
Detroit, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Richmond, Birmingham, Flint (MI).

If anybody would like to have pictures from the Georgia Sheriff Magazine, please post a comment with your email address. Your post will not be shown. Pictures will be sent to your email address. The following paragraph was included in a letter that I sent that had the photographs attached.

Please let me get back to the Georgia Sheriff magazine. I have attempted to show some things about our local law enforcement officers in a way that might be unknown to many people. As you view the pictures, you will see pictures and comments about law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. You will also see pictures of activities of the Georgia Sheriff’s Departments in various activities of local community involvement. I hope that we will all remember that it will be a law enforcement officer who will respond whenever we may have the need to call for someone to come and protect us. Please let me provide a disclaimer. The pictures and articles that are provided were made by using a hand-held camera. I greatly apologize for not doing a better job of providing quality photographs.

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