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Sat, Oct. 31

Editorial: Take moment to say ‘thank you’ to law enforcement

Up close and personal, day after day, Yavapai County’s law enforcement officers are our front line in fighting crime. During this COVID-19 pandemic, most residents are focused on staying at home, social distancing, and wearing protective equipment when officers interact with them.

For our law enforcement heroes, their day-to-day life has not changed.

In fact, domestic violence, assault and senseless acts of rage, reckless and impaired driving, and drug abuse and its consequences are all on the rise, said Sheila Polk, county attorney.

The week of May 11-15 is National Police Week, and this is a good time to express our gratitude for the staggering array of things we expect from law enforcement and that they consistently do well.

Every single day, an officer acts as a first responder; makes split-second analyses of complex, irrational situations, rapidly sorting out who poses danger and who needs help; witnesses gruesome accidents and crime scenes; administers often life-saving first aid; detects drug and alcohol impairment; and reverses a heroin overdose with Naloxone.

Modern day policing demands that our law enforcement officers become experts on a wide range of topics including mental health; substance abuse; domestic violence; terrorism; geography; psychology; animal control; drug identification; federal, state, county and local laws; weapons; self-defense; transportation; and, last but not least, to have an intimate knowledge of the people, places and things in their own communities.

They memorize stacks of legal standards, compose mountains of reports recalling every minute detail, and become masters of the legal system where they are called to tell the stories of their work with the utmost veracity, Polk added.

It is almost cliché to say they put their lives on the line for us. However, we have way too many examples of officers who have done just that.

Yet, they still continue to serve, even under pandemic conditions, at all hours of the day, and are bravely and steadfastly there for us. Even when they are off duty, you can find law enforcement appearing at community meetings, helping underprivileged kids, working security at events, and stopping on the highway to offer help when just living their lives as private citizens.

It is now more important than ever to let our law enforcement officers know that we support them and are grateful for all the amazing things we know they do – and for all the little things they do when no one is watching.

The next time you see an officer doing his or her job, take a moment to say “thank you.” It will mean more to them than you may realize.

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