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Uniform Gratitude

Last weekend, I participated in the Writers’ Police Academy in Jamestown, NC. What a great experience. Some lucky people won lotteries to shoot guns, breach buildings, visit the jail, and participate in ride alongs with police or EMS.

We witnessed a re-enactment of a wreck with multiple injuries and fatalities, observing the different teams doing their jobs—EMS, fire and rescue, deputies. We learned about crime scene evidence collection, the psychology of cops, and even romances behind the badge, too.

Instructors were real live law enforcement officers, some still active, others retired from police, sheriff’s departments, ATF, FBI, and the Secret Service.

We met a deep undercover cop who managed to survive two years and two months inside one of the most violent motorcycle gains in the United States. He survived and helped convict many of the gang members, but his close-knit family relationships did not.

All the instructors had one characteristic in common, the desire to help, serve, and protect. That desire to help extended to the writing field with their enthusiasm to help civilians understand and write about their world.

My most important take away from this weekend is that I’ve lived a very sheltered life. Although I watch some cop programs and movies, I’m really naive about the dark underbelly of life that exists right alongside my church attending, community volunteering, Polly Anna life.

I bebop through my daily to-do list writing on my computer, buying groceries, returning books to the library–enjoying my life, not thinking about the people who put their life on the line every day to protect that naivety.

To all the sheriffs’ deputies, police officers, state troopers, FBI agents, EMT workers, and fire fighters: Thank you for doing what you do.

Thank you for keeping us safe