Regardless of what mainstream media says, police lives matter. In honor of National Police Week, here’s how to support our officers.
I have to admit that sometimes, I’m optimistic to a fault.
I genuinely want to believe the good in people despite any and all evidence to the contrary.
Take, for instance, the fact that I sort of hoped the whole “war on cops” thing would be a short-term kind of thing. That sure doesn’t appear to be the case.
I suppose it’s par for the course in a fallen world, but it’s still disappointing.
The thing is, when you’re a police wife, you know police lives matter. You know that very well.
After all, that police life is also your husband, your partner, the father of your children, and your best friend. His life is about so much more than just being a police officer… even though that’s undoubtedly a big part of who he is.
When people casually disregard line of duty deaths as “just part of what cops signed up for”, it’s unbelievably hurtful – because you know that’s not actually the case.
It’s not like police officers sign up to be ambushed and murdered (like in this recent example).
Police officers sign up because they want to help society, and they are willing to do so even if it causes them injury or death.
That’s a lot different from signing up to be killed, and doesn’t make their deaths any less tragic or noteworthy.
My husband actually has alerts turned on for the Officer Down Memorial Page app so he can take a moment to remember the fallen when it happens… And I have to say, he gets them way too often.
I don’t really understand how he can handle it, but I also understand why it’s so important to him to recognize those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
In the same vein, in honor of National Police Week, I wanted to talk a little about specifically why police lives matter so much, and how you can support them – whether you actively part of the thin blue line or not.
Police Lives Matter: How To Keep Officers Safer On (And Off) The Job
Use social media wisely.
With all the anti-police rhetoric around, it can be hard to know what’s true and what’s false, especially when it comes to the information that proliferates on social media.
It’s important to use good discernment when you read the news – especially when it comes to just the headlines, which is all a lot of people read.
If something seems fishy, there’s a good chance it is.
After all, you’ll still find publications that claim all kinds of factually proven falsehoods in high-profile cases – such as saying Jacob Blake was unarmed, when he himself conceded he had a knife when he was shot.
In this day and age of so much intentional misinformation, it pays to develop a good BS radar and use it often.
Related note: There’s a really good TED talk I heard recently that addresses some of this called Behind The Lies Of Holocaust Denial by Deborah Lipstadt. I know the title sounds super unrelated to the topic of “police lives matter” – but trust me, her main point about truth, lies, and opinions rings incredibly true right now.
On the flipside, you can also post good news you come across about cops, or videos from people who speak the truth about law enforcement.
Believe it or not, there are plenty around – they’re just not quite as well-known as those who speak out against the police.
Speaking the truth as often as possible is an important way to affirm that police lives matter.
At the same time, however, I understand being hesitant to do so in this modern era of cancel culture. Because of that, only you can decide what risk you’re willing to take with your own life for a modicum of tide-turning.
After all, Facebook posts don’t usually change minds – but honest discussions with friends can.
RELATED POST: How To Be Safe On Social Media As A Police Wife
Get to know the signs and symptoms of serious trauma.
Recent studies indicate that police officers are actually more likely to die from suicide than while on duty. That’s why in supporting the police lives matter movement, you can help by working to recognize signs of PTSD, suicidal ideation, etc. in officers close to you.
After all, officers work a high-stress job in a culture that, on a whole, wouldn’t spit on them if they were on fire.
While the media may question their every move, they question their own actions, too. Decisions made under extreme pressure are always bound to be questioned after the fact.
It can be upsetting to realize the ultimate impact this can all have. It can also be easy to brush it off as not something you can see your officer doing. But you just never know.
That’s why getting to know the risk factors and warning signs of suicidal ideation is so important. Knowledge is power – and when you know these behavioral signs, you stand a better chance of helping if someone needs your help.
Help police families.
Though police officers themselves are the ones who bear the brunt of the stress and trauma of law enforcement, their families are no doubt affected by it.
After all, law enforcement life comes with a lot of uncertainty – frequently changing schedules aren’t super well suited to family life, and that leaves police wives often feeling like married single moms.
On top of that, in the society we live in now, it can feel like you need to hide what your husband does for a living in order to protect yourself and your kids. Otherwise, you risk being socially ostracized a lot of the time.
And, of course, police families aren’t exempt from the normal stresses of life that come with raising children and maintaining a healthy marriage – they just have other stuff to deal with on top of it.
That’s why an actionable way to say police lives matter is to support their behind-the-scenes lives.
Offer to help babysit when you can. Offer to bring meals sometimes to lighten their load. Invite them to things, even if their husbands can’t join them. Gift them a good devotional.
In short, be a friend – because we really need each other!
Plus, officers can be more fully engaged in their work when they are certain their family is taken care of – and everyone is happier in a home like that.
Support police charities.
Even if you don’t personally know any police officers you can help out, you can always donate your time and money to help fund resources for officers and their families.
There are lots of worthy police charities out there.
Some, like C.O.P.S., helps those left behind after a line of duty death.
They do this by providing access to counseling, camps for kids and teens to help them connect to others who are in the same position, and other resources. They are an incredible resource to help rebuild the lives of those impacted by the death of a law enforcement officer.
If you’re crazy about dogs, Brady’s K-9 Fund helps provide ballistic vests to police dogs.
Not only is it an awesome cause to support, but it was also started by a 10-year-old boy who was concerned enough about K-9s to take action. Seriously, amazing – and a really fun cause to support.
There are other charities that help provide training to police officers, like Emergency Operations Proving Grounds.
They help officers who would not otherwise have access to this training be more prepared for active shooter situations.
Concerned about the mental health of police officers? Sheepdog Impact Assistance helps officers (as well as military members and other first responders) find a supportive community of peers.
This undoubtedly helps prevent suicide by reducing the feeling that they’re alone – because they are not! And connecting to others going through the same hardships makes those struggles a lot easier to handle.
Need more ideas? Here’s a complete list of the best police charities to donate to to help you get started.
Just be nice.
It doesn’t take a whole heck of a lot of energy to just be nice – and as the saying goes, you will always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
If you want to go the extra mile, though, here are lots of great ideas to celebrate National Police Week and support your local officers.
Pray, pray, pray.
Even if you have no time, money, or inclination to do anything else, you can always pray for police officers and their families.
- You can pray for the safety of the men and women of law enforcement as they go about their day-to-day duties.
- You can pray for specific officers when you see them on a traffic stop or just out in public.
- You can pray for those in the government and policy-making decisions. You can ask God to help them see how much police lives matter and take appropriate action to protect them.
- You can pray for those who are anti-police, asking God to open their eyes to the truth about law enforcement and how important those officers are.
It doesn’t matter if you’re “good at” praying or not, because the power of the prayer is not in the one who says it, but in the One who hears it.
Need some more guidance? Check out these posts for more detailed prayer ideas:
Remember, police lives matter because they do so much for you that often goes unseen. When they protect us every day without us even knowing about it, when they put their lives on the line to protect others, and when they generally just try to make society a better place, your support means so much.
Remember the husbands, sons, brothers, fathers, wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers who serve on the thin blue line by making it known that, to you, police lives matter – always.