Love is sacrifice. Love ultimately does not consist of hugs and kisses. Unconditional love lays down ones own personal desires and sacrifices for others. The sacrifice that men and women in law enforcement display each and every day, I will guarantee is love.
Love for their community. Some are saying now that Minneapolis police officers must move to where they work. This will make them better officers. They will be better connected to these neighborhoods. I am not saying that there are not good intentions behind this, but ultimately I would argue that these officers also need to be able to choose where they reside. They may have family in other areas or ties to different communities in other ways. If this made people better community members then why do those same communities who commit the crimes prey on each other. If this fixed the divide then it would all be so easy.
Look at the stats for Minneapolis and the contents are overwhelming. The majority of the things taking place each day that hurt the citizens of Minneapolis’ neighborhoods come from within those communities. By asking a police officer to also live within these communities you do a couple of different things.
First, you put these officers in a position to never walk away. This is a hard ass job people. You see people at their worst. You see hurt, pain, evil and death. This is not the only things they encounter, but in reality these are the events that stay with them. These are the moments that start to eat away at them, and if these are their neighbors this becomes something they have a hard time bearing.
You also, by forcing officers to live where they work, put them in a vulnerable position. This is just reality. It has become much more of one lately. I have lived this so I know. I had to pack up my family and escape. This is not an anomaly people. This is made worse by the anger over the death of George Floyd, but it was brewing before. Who else can say that their spouse has told you or your children to refrain from sharing with their neighbors what they do for a living?
I think ideas like this grow out of a desire to fix. What seems like a romantic and simple solution must be well thought out, and listen to those who are affected the most. I feel like the voice of those in law enforcement is missing in this equation. I know I have heard those who make policy and who are in charge speak up, but they often speak from a distance. They are often not out there doing the real work with the community. They lack perspective and answer to a different group of voices.
Matt and I would not have to move. It is likely that it would be something that only moving forward with those who are newly hired would be required to fulfill. Why am I passionate about this then? Well, ultimately it is love. Love for these officers, but also a love for the communities.
I have said that love is sacrifice. I truly believe this. However, you should not sacrifice your whole being, for if you do, you ultimately have nothing to give to others. Love can only grow out of love also received. I think that it would be very difficult now, given the climate towards police, to force this sacrifice. It should not be the solution that we seek.
Let these brave officers have opportunities to show this love again. Welcome them into your businesses and homes. Talk to them when you see them. Stop flicking them off and yelling insults. Take the time to wave and show your support. Stop holding the line.
These men and women have love in their hearts. I have seen it, heard it and know it to be true. They are getting up each day and facing evil, ugly and pain. They are doing this at great sacrifice. They are doing this because they love. Stop telling them it is never enough.