Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017! Yes, another year is in the books. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
At the time of this writing, we’ve had a staggering 134 law enforcement fatalities in the year 2016. The State of Texas led the country with 18 officers killed in the line of duty, and Florida ranked 5th for in the line of duty fatalities. Officer Douglas Barney, from Salt Lake City, was gunned down on January 17th, his was the start of the attacks on officers across the country for 2016. Last year was a horrific year for attacks on officers across the country. I urge all of you to stay vigilant and be careful out there.
The Boston Globe recently published a story entitled, “The Hidden Trump Voter - The Police.” The following was written by New Jersey State PBA President Patrick Colligan on why Trump won the election.
“You didn’t need an advanced degree to see the stark differences in the two candidates when it came to law enforcement, and I don’t think anybody could dispute it. Clinton embraced the Black Lives Matter movement. Her well-known, and very public, position placed law enforcement squarely in the crosshairs. Her final opportunity to garner any support from law enforcement went down the drain at the Democratic National Convention. The guest list was patently offensive to anybody who pins on a badge every day and enforces the law. Conversely, Donald Trump has continuously and consistently supported law enforcement. He’s recognized the false narrative and he realizes that the “Ferguson Effect” has had a profound and long-term effect on law enforcement. The law enforcement response to this election was simple. More than 900,000 law enforcers leave their homes each day to provide safety and security to the communities they serve and answer tens of millions of calls for service. The vast majority are handled without incident and don’t end up on the news. I have never hidden from the harsh reality that we make mistakes, and when we do they are ugly and tragic, but as the Boston Globe article suggests, Trump’s win was vindication for those who are doing their jobs without engaging in racial profiling or excessive force. Our profession has room for improvement. It always will. But I hope that when the analysis of this election is finally done, an attack on law enforcement isn’t in the arsenal of a future campaign. That miscalculation may cost somebody else an election.”
Very well said, Patrick. Let’s see what the future holds for us, but the attacks on law enforcement must come to an end, society demands it.
Last month, there was a lot of love going on around here. The POAT put together another outstanding fundraiser called the “Cops Ride for Kids.” Hundreds of people showed up on their motorcycles to support this great cause.
We would like to thank all the riders and volunteers that stepped up to make this event so successful. Great job to all of those involved!
Stay tuned for the details on another great ride, the “Support Our Police” Motorcycle Rally and Ride, that the PBA will be hosting in February. The ride will end at Tropical Park, as always there will plenty of food, music, and activities for the kids. Save the date on your calendar.
Recently, I had the honor of attending a moving event called, “Serving Those Who Have Served.” It was put on by the Dade Chiefs Association, along with the South Florida Crime Commission. The intent of the event was to feed our military veterans who, for various reasons, found themselves down on hard times, and a little less fortunate than others. They were provided with a hot meal, which was served by local chiefs and officers. The event was for a great cause and very moving. Like what we here at the PBA have said in the past, you can never thank our veterans enough for the sacrifices they made to create this great country we live in.
So, as we go into this New Year, let us be thankful for what we have, and strive to make our community a better place. We have a lot of dedicated officers that are working hard to make our community safer to live in. We here at the PBA see you, your efforts do not go unnoticed and we will continue to fight for your rights and on your behalf.
As I have said in the past and I will continue to say, please make sure your estate planning documents, i.e. Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney etc., are up to date, and in order. This is a free service we offer here at the PBA. You do not want to burden your family with having to deal with those details, in addition to mourning you.
See you next month and stay safe!