By Jason Hicks
After watching the abuse being heaped on my brothers and sisters in blue, I can no longer remain quiet.
In my 91⁄2 years as the elected District Attorney, I have seen the efforts of many brave men and women in law enforcement. They have saved lives, responded to horrific scenes, cried with loved ones who lost a family member, stood with one another after a violent assault, sought to make our communities better, and have spent countless hours volunteering their time for the communities they love, among many other things.
We need to recognize that the scars left in the minds of many officers last a lifetime. Scars that cannot be healed. Think about seeing a child that’s been abused, or, the scene where a family has died in a car wreck, or, the situation where a call comes in that one family member is beating another and the kids are screaming in the background, or, having to knock on someone’s door to tell them that their child isn’t coming home. It is a brutal profession.
These men and women are completely underpaid, and society expects nothing less than perfection. The expectation is that we, law enforcement, take care of the problems no one else wants to admit exists, much less deal with... Oh, the suicide rate in law enforcement? It is the highest of ANY profession!
I have watched many officers in the courtroom endure the finger-pointing and second-guessing that comes with being a law enforcement officer. They are questioned and then ridiculed and made to believe they did something wrong when they were simply doing what they were trained to do. These men and women withstand the scrutiny of review after review and trial after trial, just to get up the next morning to do it all over again.
Think about someone questioning everything you do at your job. Understand that many times our officers show up at the courthouse after working all night completely exhausted, knowing that they will have to do it all over again the next day and do not complain! Why? Because they have servant’s hearts and love the communities they serve. They are the protectors and defenders of our communities.
The silence of many is deafening and I will no longer remain that way. Are there bad apples? Yes! Just as there are in every profession! However, I serve alongside some of the most Godly men and women I know. They are the ones who will run into a school when a shooting starts to put an end to the situation. They are the ones who put their lives on the line every time they go to work, many of them wondering if they will make it home for the evening. They are the ones who keep us safe on a daily basis. A little appreciation for them goes a long way!
I have watched these men and women repeatedly and have marveled at their resilience through attack after attack. Please do not stay silent and let them walk away. Join me in showing them that they are not only wanted but are necessary.
To every officer out there, THANK YOU!!! Your efforts are not in vain and are not unappreciated. Stay the course! Fight the good fight and keep doing what you were called to do!
Jason Hicks is the District Attorney for District 6, serving Caddo, Grady, Jefferson and Stephens counties.