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A Nation in Crisis

I initially wrote this blog on July 8, 2016, only a few hours after the ambush of the Dallas Area Regional Transport and Dallas Police officers. My anger was raging, and fear was burning in my throat. I wrote in haste and colored by emotions, so I decided to set aside the writing for a few days and return to it when I was calmer and more collected. Maybe even as a nation, we could begin to heal from the worst attack on police officers since 9/11. However, here is the reality:  since the attack on Dallas, 12 more officers have died in the line of duty, bringing July’s line of duty deaths to 20. I am still angry; I am still afraid.

I initially wrote about Dallas, “A city is shattered.” I need to revise that to “We are a nation in crisis.” My heart is crushed for all deceased and wounded officers, for their loved ones and friends. These heroes are all my family—my blue family. The sniper ambush on the men and women of the Dallas Police and the Dallas Area Regional Transport is as Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings proclaimed, “Our worst nightmare…” I was so angry and horrified watching the news coming out of Dallas that I could not pray. For a moment, the darkness and the demons took my soul. Media coverage of line of duty deaths often takes survivors back to the time they found out they lost their officer. Since Dallas, our nation has lost officers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, California, and multiple more officers in Texas. Communities, police departments, and families across the United States have suffered their “worst nightmare” in the last few weeks.

Police survivors—the term used to describe family members and co-workers of an officer killed in the line of duty—the ones that are past the immediate trauma may have flashbacks of their officer’s death, anger and depression. Nightmares might return. The surviving families and co-workers of the recent line of duty deaths will experience devastation that defies description, often while being scrutinized by the media. Anyone that is a police survivor would do anything to take away that pain.

Several months ago, I wrote a blog post Is There a War on Police? The tragic answer, of course, is yes. Every day I balance my joy for life with the reality that one of my friends, or someone I love, could die in the service of their job. I have spent the majority of this month searching for words of healing for all police survivors, a small glimmer of hope to everyone traumatized by violence against law enforcement. I know police survivors have experienced a variety of emotions this month, predominantly grief. The only human emotion strong enough to combat trauma and grief is love. Mother Teresa is attributed to saying “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” Love your neighbors, your family, but most importantly make an effort to love someone different than you. Our small and individual acts of love will help our nation heal. Is it this simple to heal our nation in crisis? I don’t know, but we have to start somewhere, and I choose to start with love.

https://wordpress.com/menus/bluelivesblog.wordpress.com  is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.

 

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COPsync Network Could Help Protect Against Terrorist Attacks

Until September 11, 2001, most Americans conceptualized terrorist attacks as something that happened occasionally in distant countries, but a series of orchestrated attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, and the plane headed for Washington, DC, but crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, brought an abstract concept into sharp reality.  We now believe that terrorism is an imminent threat to our families, our American institutions and ourselves.  The events of 9/11 were also the deadliest for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively.  First responders have suffered devastating health impacts from 9/11 toxic debris including throat and neck cancers, lung disease, thyroid cancer, and blood cancers in the years since the attacks.

Domestically and internationally, a number of agencies were newly formed or strengthened in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, yet the world watched in horror a few short weeks ago as ISIS attacked Paris. Even though the attacks took place on French soil, they were strategically planned to include an international soccer game, where the president of France was in attendance, and the venue for an American rock band.  I am sure many people would agree with me that while these attacks occurred on French soil, they were leveled at the citizens of the world.  Terrorists and other criminals capitalize on not only the short-term violence they create, but also the long-term fear generated by their actions.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), other departments within the Federal government and state agencies throughout the United States are increasingly focused on securing the nation’s border, protecting our citizens from criminals and preventing terrorist attacks.   COPsync, Inc. (OTCPink: COYN), headquartered in Dallas, TX, which operates the nation’s largest law enforcement in-car information sharing and communication network and the COPsync911 threat alert service for schools, government buildings, hospitals and other potentially at-risk facilities, could play a substantial role in thwarting terrorism.  Most people are surprised to learn that U.S. state and local law enforcement agencies typically have independent record-keeping and communication systems that are not linked in any way.  This inability to have cross-jurisdictional communication for the approximately 18,000 police agencies in the United States could result in preventable officer deaths and injuries, and global criminals and terrorists moving undetected within the United States or across international borders.  As the world has shifted into a global economy and schoolchildren can now work collaboratively and communicate across cultures and time zones, it is time for law enforcement and federal agencies to do the same.

These are my own opinions and not the views of my employer.