The last several years have seen a rise in violence, particularly violence towards law enforcement, and the past several months have been plagued by divisiveness. With the elections tomorrow, the American Alliance of Airport Police Officers (AAAPO) encourages everyone to vote, and when the dust settles, either way, police must be supported.
Policing can be a great career. We have sworn an oath to protect our neighbors and friends, and we are willing to go to great lengths to uphold that oath. This is a job we love and feel honored to do. That said, there are bad apples in our profession, just as there are in EVERY profession, but these bad apples are NOT representative of all police officers.
While some political leaders have condemned police officers and been quick to criticize us all and paint our profession in a negative light, others have stood up for the men and women of law enforcement and understood that the bad deeds of a few do not constitute the positive actions of many. With the rise in violence and hateful rhetoric against police over the last several years, it is important for those with a bully pulpit, including politicians, policy makers, pundits, activists, and others, to stop fueling the fiery anti-law enforcement narrative that has become the new normal. Despite being dragged through the mud on an almost daily basis now, police and law enforcement around the country still wake up day in and day out to protect the very people who criticize us and everyone. We appreciate and protect the right of everyone to have an opinion, even negative ones about us, but it must be done in a productive and respectful way.
“The sole focus of police officers is to protect and defend our communities—a job we gladly do. We even protect those who wish us ill. Yet, over the last several months and years many of us have been left thinking, who’s protecting and defending us when we are under attack? Whether it be physically, or with words, there is a changing tide against law enforcement. This must end,” said Marshall McClain, co-founder of the AAAPO and President of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. “Communities, politicians and our own must come together and get back on track. This effort is more fundamental than any this election season. Go vote tomorrow but remember, whoever wins, we must be a country of law and order and our police are ready to do the hard stuff to bring us together and make a better relationship. It can be done, it should be done and we must all be a part of it.”