The blind blue line
Wednesday, December 06, 2017
Those who have been fortunate enough to never have dialed 911 may be unaware of the standard procedure of the call. Some of the typical questions asked by an emergency dispatcher are the standard "who, what, where, etc." line of journalistic inquiry.
But not once do you hear questions like this: By what name do you call God? What is your sexual identity? Who did you vote for in the past election?
Ultimately, to those who serve, your religious, political, sexual and socioeconomic identity does not matter. As first responders, we will give up our last full measure to aide you in your time of need.
We do this not because we lack our own opinions about these subject matters, but because service to others above ourselves will always be intangible. We know that regardless of how many zeroes are in your bank account, we will do all we can to save your life or the lives of your family members, without ever sending you a bill.
It is to this point that I sadly shake my head when our brothers and sisters make the news because of a mishap, aka letting their humanity show. It is to the credit of our profession that a mishap by a law enforcement officer will result in societal uproar.
In the minds of the citizens, our uniform not only serves as a sign of safe harbor but also of the utmost dedication. Any violation of that innate belief sparks public outcry. Few other professions can claim that level of equality in service.
When we run lights and sirens (at a rate that would surely supercharge any Dolorian's flux capacitor), we do not wonder what church the people in need attend. We simply go.
So to those who take every opportunity to denounce our profession as bigoted or biased, I challenge you to find any other profession who serves their clientele so fully without regard to their own well-being. To my brothers and sisters, I hope that you continue the excellent work that you do.
To quote Teddy Roosevelt, one of this nation's greatest presidents:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
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