Proud of Our Area Law Enforcement Professionals
As you may imagine, just as I'm sure most law enforcement administrators have, I've recently been asked about the anti-law enforcement movement.
The unconscionable death of George Floyd not only sparked a much-needed national debate towards equality in justice but unfortunately also resulted in violence, fires, looting and additional deaths. And, just like everyone else across the country we have seen the constant barrage of anti-law enforcement rhetoric nearly everywhere we turn, whether it's online, on television or even in person.
Disturbingly, rather than working with law enforcement leaders to bring about necessary reform, we have also seen politicians in certain metropolitan cities taking action to "de-fund" or abolish their police departments.
Many of the loud voices calling for de-funding are trying to paint us all with the same brush as those who should have never worn a badge in the first place and who violate the very values we hold dear and work hard to promote. Unfortunately, those voices are significantly drowning out what we know deep down to be true, that most Americans support law enforcement.
It would be terrific if we lived in a society, or even a community, where predators don't molest children in the dark of night, where violent men don't use weapons to beat their wives, where people don't kill one another over money or drugs. It would be nice if the men and women who wake each day with a mission of helping their neighbors didn't have to strap on a bullet proof vest before doing so. But that's not the world we live in.
As much as we may hate to admit it, those evils do exist and I'm proud to defend and advocate for those who are committed to service, despite the evil and despite the background noise-makers trying to convince a country that we in law enforcement are the problem.
I'm honored to defend and advocate for them at every occasion I can because I'm thankful for those who serve honorably, not just on our team at the Sheriff's Office, but in agencies across our region and country. Their continued service of others is a testament to their love of people - all people - because each day they continue to pin on that badge, strap on that vest and go out to work a long shift knowing full well their day will likely include a lot of positive interactions but will also likely include interactions with someone who will cuss them, potentially spit on them, or even worse.
Like I recently shared with our Board of County Commissioners - who have always and continue to show me and our agency a great deal of appreciation - we are blessed to have men and women who sincerely care about Cherokee County. And I am thankful for the same level of overwhelming support and encouragement received by our citizens because it gives me confidence in our ability to determine our own narrative.
This community, not cable news or "clever" memes shared on social media, has the power to determine how we feel about law enforcement. We do not have to allow them to frame the issue as being pro-law enforcement or pro-justice for all. My God, as United States citizens, we can and we should proudly proclaim we support both those issues while adamantly and proactively rejecting efforts from national commentators and politicians, who long ago forgot who they work for, from convincing us we have to choose one over the other.
I don't care about those commentators or politicians whose rhetoric generally serve only to make problems worse, rather than better.
What I do care about is this county. I care about you, your kids and grand kids. I want you to feel safe and if something threatens that safety, I want you to feel confident those serving our community are professionals who are trained and committed to taking care of the situation in a fair and just way.
And I also care about the honorable men and women I have the privilege of working alongside each and every day because I know they are just as dedicated to serving as I am.
As I have said in the past, and I say it again today with a renewed sincerity, thank you for your continued and unwavering support of our local law enforcement professionals and agencies!
God Bless and Stay Safe,
Sheriff David M. Groves