We Need Everyone’s Help To Make Communities Safer

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September 11, 2021, marks the 20-year remembrance of the horrible attacks on our country, our citizens and our way of life. I recently saw advertising for documentaries about the tragedies that took place, and I found my heart racing and my breathing changing with just the thought of that day. We all know where we were or what we were doing when we heard the news.

I was a young sergeant in the police department, working in the traffic safety office. First responders were all called to action in some way to either respond to one of the scenes or to begin to protect areas in our own communities once thought off limits. Shortly after 9/11, law enforcement began a transformation to help ensure that such tragic events could be avoided through improved information gathering, sharing of information, and other homeland security enhancements. I truly believe our communities are safer because of the efforts that were brought as a result of the 9/11 attacks and the desire to protect our citizens.

The outpouring of support for those efforts was a window to the soul of the American spirit. Sadly, the lessons learned then are slowly being forgotten, as the entirety of law enforcement is bombarded with negativity by opinion-based media and lawmakers without foresight to the consequences of their words and actions. I need not look back any further than the 2021 Maryland legislative session as an example of those consequences, whether intended or not. Suffice it to say that the legislature is not making communities safer through its actions.

The desire to serve in public safety is still a noble calling, and law enforcement will adapt to change as it always does. We are a society of laws. Not perfect, but better than most in my opinion. Let us not forget there are forces outside our communities and outside our borders that would like nothing better than to see us fail as a nation. I will do my small part to deliver the good government you deserve and be the public servant you should expect. September 11 will always be a day of remembrance and reflection, but it should not be the only day when we remember the harsh lessons of terrorism, both foreign and domestic.

Public safety workers and others who were at the scenes, particularly in New York, continue to suffer health problems to this day. Organizations such as the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund continue to track deaths related to illnesses borne by first responders of the 9/11 attacks. Regardless of whether you read this article before, during or after the 20-year anniversary of the attacks, I hope we all stay focused on the task at hand, which is to safeguard our communities and defend the American way of life. I am certain that law enforcement is up to the ongoing challenge, and I hope you are too.

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