3 inspiring stories of citizens supporting police

Three recent gems of underreported “good news” show that pro-cop sentiment does exist in American citizens, and you can see it plainly if you look hard enough

The anti-police sentiment which now pervades our public discourse — particularly in mainstream national press and on social media — is not an accurate reflection of how the majority of Americans feel about their law enforcement officers. I am of the opinion that the overwhelming majority of Americans appreciate and admire their police officers. However, I think they’re a silent majority.

Most law-abiding citizens proceed with their daily lives without even thinking about their police. People are more prone to thank the airline pilot as they deplane than they are to thank the police officer taking a burglary report in the neighborhood — even though the cop’s impact on their safety is more immediate, and more persistent. Even if they do have a conscious thought of gratitude for their police heroes, most people don’t act on that sentiment with a gesture of appreciation. 

Three recent gems of underreported “good news” show that pro-cops sentiment does exist among our civilian population — you just have to look for it.

A neighborhood not far from Chicago is adorned with blue ribbons on trees and fence posts as citizens there silently declare their support for law enforcement. (PoliceOne Image)
A neighborhood not far from Chicago is adorned with blue ribbons on trees and fence posts as citizens there silently declare their support for law enforcement. (PoliceOne Image)

1. The Survey Says...
According to results of an Accenture survey of 2,000 American citizens, a strong majority (85 percent) of those polled is “satisfied with their local police services” and an overwhelming majority (91 percent) feels safe in their neighborhoods. 

Wai-Ming Yu — who leads Accenture’s State and Local Policing business in North America — said in a statement that the survey “identified strong citizen support for their local police and an eagerness among citizens to engage and collaborate with police to fight crime.”

The survey — similar to previous studies undertaken by Accenture in 2014 and 2012 — showed a strong desire among citizens to play a greater role in law enforcement, with more than half of citizens (52 percent) saying they would participate in a community policing program such as neighborhood watch.

Accenture has a vested interest in conducting their study — they’re in the business of providing technology solutions to bridge citizens and police for everything from crime reporting to community policing programs — but the pro-police results are a breath of fresh air amid all the negative headlines and news reports about police interaction with citizens.

2. Mason and Mom
Another breath of fresh air can be found in the actions of one fine young man in Georgia, and his equally fantastic mom. Mason Allison — an eighth-grade student at South Habersahm Middle School in Cornelia (Ga.) — was talking with his mother, Tracy — a Special Education Teacher at the same school — about the anti-police fervor in Baltimore and elsewhere. 

“He just couldn’t believe that people were siding with criminals rather than siding with police officers,” Tracy told PoliceOne. 

“That really bothered him, and disturbed him, and he said ‘The very people that we should be respecting and obeying and giving our thanks for putting their lives on the line for us every single day are the people who are getting blasted in the media’,” Tracy said.

Mason then thought of the Habersham County Sheriff’s Deputy who they pass every morning as they drive to school. 

Mason asked his mom to stop at the local McDonald’s so he could buy the deputy on duty a hot cup of coffee on that cold, early spring morning. Tracy agreed that it would be a great idea, and they did exactly that. 

When they stopped their vehicle, the deputy gave them a curious glance as Mason approached with a cup of hot coffee. 

Mason explained why he was giving him the coffee. The deputy thanked Mason, and in turn, Mason said back, “No, thank you.”

And then, they all went on about their day. Simple as that. 

“There really wasn’t too much to it,” Mason told PoliceOne. “I just thought it was the right thing to do.”

Tracy and Mason are a little uneasy with the attention their random act of kindness has gotten. Mason explained that he’s kept quiet at school about his coffee gift because he doesn’t want it to be about him. 

“I’m not trying to get attention — that wasn’t the reason for what I did,” Mason said.

Tracy added, “The focus needs to be on doing great things for our police officers. They do so much more than anyone can ever imagine — putting their life on the line every single time they go to work — and they’re just being crucified in the media. I just think that’s wrong.” 

Mason’s kind act — and Tracy’s Facebook post about it — have now mushroomed into what their local newspaper is calling The Mason and Mom Challenge, in which the pair urge ordinary citizens to do one nice thing for a cop. 

One way people can do that is to look into a new organization called Police Supporter.

3. Ed’s ‘Police Supporter’
During ILEETA 2015, Ed Nowicki — ILEETA’s first Executive Director — revealed that he has battled back from serious illness and launched a Police Supporter, “an organization that exists for the sole purpose of letting the men and women in law enforcement know that people care about them,” he said. 

The not-for-profit organization seeks to show the positive side of law enforcement — the countless citizen contacts which positively affect the community but Don’t receive much attention from mainstream media. 

The organization aims to use the sale of t-shirts, lapel pins, and other products to not only raise the visibility of people who support our police, but also raise money for ILEETA and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Why Now (More Than Ever)?
Thousands of families, friends, and fellow officers are currently making their way to Washington, DC for National Police Week. With heavy hearts, the survivors of fallen officers will touch the names etched on the wall and leave mementoes of their lost loved ones. 

If past is prologue, intermingled in the throng of police officers and police survivors will be a group of ordinary citizens who take time from their busy schedules to show up and show their appreciation for cops who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Other citizens who cannot get to DC have already begun tying blue ribbons to the trees in front of their house as a show of support for our officers. 

Remember, pro-cop sentiment does exist in American citizens, and you can see it plainly if you look hard enough. And remember, “In valor, there is hope.”

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