My thoughts during Peace Officer Memorial Week
by Loveland Police Captain Dennis Sean Rahe
I was watching one of those police shows on television the other night. It’s always the same. The cops corner the suspect who draws a gun and points it at them. They tell him to drop the gun. He doesn’t. There is an emotional plea to drop the gun. The suspect seems to give up. Then, suddenly, shoots at the officers (he misses of course) and the police have to shoot him.
Afterwards, it’s a pat on the back for a job well done with an agreement to meet at a local restaurant later. Then, they save the world next week. It is perfect; every time, every week.
Sometimes, I wonder if that is what we have come to expect from our police, our military, our fire fighters. We expect them to be perfect every time, every week. But police officers aren’t those people on television. We have fears, physical limitations, financial issues, stress. We are your [quote_right]We accept this trust as part of the Loveland community, not as permission to control it.[/quote_right]neighbors. Our kids go to school. We go to church. We don’t police the community. We are part of the community. We don’t do everything perfect and, yes, we make mistakes. Most of the 900,000 police officers in America are great people who love serving their community. They respect the people entrusted to them. Unfortunately, a select few do not.
The Loveland police “family” constantly reminds each other that our authority is a sacred trust. We accept this trust as part of the Loveland community, not as permission to control it. Our family expects our service to be the highest we can give. We expect the best and we work every day to ingrain that into our culture. Our officers respect our community and want to do their best.
[quote_left]I am proud to belong to a department of extraordinary people who have not forgotten their purpose.[/quote_left]Sometimes officers doing their best are forced to make critical decisions, in horrible situations, and do so in fractions of a second. Loveland officers train for these “high risk, low frequency” events; repeatedly. But it’s not television. Fear, emotional control, physical ability, training, equipment, and many other factors make a difference in how these situations turn out. It doesn’t turn out perfectly every time and it certainly doesn’t happen every week.
The week surrounding May 15th is designated Peace Officer Memorial Week. It is a chance to stop and think about the officers doing their best to serve their communities and those who gave their lives for them. I will be honoring the members of our Loveland Police family who support each other in their service to the Loveland community. I am proud to belong to a department of extraordinary people who have not forgotten their purpose. Every day they give their best for our community and I thank them for it.