I took the kids to the movies and as we were leaving the parking garage I saw an officer stocking up his belt with equipment from the trunk of his car. Knowing what a terrible thing had happened earlier, and how hard it must be to pull on a police uniform and go to work, I wanted to say something. I stopped and said “thank you, officer, we are behind you”. He turned and looked, then gave me and my vehicle a careful once over before making eye contact with me and nodding in acknowledgement. I realized at that instant that the first thing that he thought when I spoke was ‘is this guy a threat?’ He checked me out, and noted the kids in the back seat before he nodded. I think he was glad to hear me express support, but I also think I gave him an adrenaline rush while he looked to see if I was going to turn out to be a bad guy.
I wish I had a better vessel to express my appreciation, respect and support for the men and women who serve in our communities. I wish I could somehow bake enough pies, and like Santa I could magically reach each police station during each shift of every law enforcement agency in Western Washington. I’d hand over a warm pie, express my gratitude and support for the thin blue line and the heroes who man it.
The worst thing is, that I bet no one would eat the pies, and rightly so. I’m sure I’d be looked at, and rightly so. It is impossible for me to express my regard and hope that no further attacks occur. I also know that nothing anyone says can make this better. Nine children lost their mother or father today. Two women lost their husbands, one man lost his wife. So many lives forever changed, so much pain. I wish I could do more to support our law enforcement community, to somehow be of service. Still, I understand full well that now and for a while, should I slow or stop my car to quickly express solidarity with officers, I will be scrutinized. Someday, they won’t feel this strong need to check everyone they come in contact with. Someday, I hope, police officers will once again scrutinize lightly company he reaps.