Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Officers are more than badges, uniforms

By the Advocate Editorial Board
March 4, 2013 at 6:04 p.m.
Updated March 3, 2013 at 9:04 p.m.

Law enforcement is a dangerous field. Every day, these men and women are tasked with keeping the peace in our hometowns, enforcing the law, responding to emergencies and more.

But far too often it is easy for those outside the law enforcement career to see these people as the cop car in the rearview mirror or a badge and uniform, not as passionate men and women who work to protect and serve us.

In our "Behind the Badge" four-part series, the Victoria Advocate looks at different members of law enforcement and gives readers a glimpse into the daily lives of the men and women in uniform - their routines, their struggles, their hopes and their fears. Behind every badge is a human being.

Looking at the stories of these people reminds us of why it is so important to give respect to those in law enforcement. In the first installment, Senior Patrol Officer Josh Robinson, with the Victoria Police Department, showed us the amazing and sometimes frightening variety of situations police officers face every day. Calls can range from traffic violations or wrecks to coaxing a drunk man down from a tree or facing gang members and drug dealers. Every day, every call, every traffic stop is different and potentially dangerous.

In the second installment, Cpl. Angela Moya, who works in the Victoria County Jail, revealed the constant vigilance necessary to go through every day safely. The county jail holds almost 400 inmates who are either awaiting trial or transport to prison on charges ranging from traffic violations to murder. Life inside the jail runs on a tight schedule with a maximum of 17 jailers working 12-hour shifts. Jailers must observe several precautionary measures, including keeping a distance of 3 feet between themselves and inmates, and much of their influence relies on the respect and authority implied when they wear their uniform.

In both of these stories, Robinson and Moya are more than an officer or a jailer. They each have families they go home to every day. Members of law enforcement are people who go to work and experience the darker side of humanity then come home to children and spouses. We applaud these men and women who put themselves at risk every day to ensure the safety and security of our communities. We are grateful for all the time they spend patrolling the streets, responding to emergencies and making sure criminals are kept safely behind bars.

We encourage our readers to take the time to thank a member of law enforcement in their communities. These people put their lives on the line every day to defend people they do not know. The least we can do is say thank you.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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