This week, I wanted to send a hearty shout out to all of the Virginia Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) that put their hearts and lives on the line to protect and serve, often, unforgiving strangers. I salute you. So, in the vein of honoring the LEOs of Virginia. I wanted to post some of their funny and entertaining lip sync challenge videos.
The lip sync challenge started on June 19, 2018, in Texas, with one officer, and a battle followed from others. In just under two months other police departments throughout the United States have called each other out for a battle to end all battles. Below, I have posted some favorites.
As I watched these videos, it made me think about some of the community outreach work I performed to aid in the development of increased community policing practices. Any can tell you that this is not easy work, but it’s truly worth it. Community policing is not just the responsibility of law enforcement agencies. It is also the responsibility of communities, businesses, civic organizations, and other stakeholders.
When I was growing up, I knew most, if not all, of my neighbors. I knew where the elderly lived, and I felt comfortable playing in the street with my friends (also my neighbors). We developed relationships and bonds that have survived until now. No, I am not saying you should be spying on people, but I am saying you should know what’s going on in your environment. You should be able to distinguish between things that are out of place. We have gotten away from getting to know each other in favor of our devices and hiding behind our screens. Many people I spoke with in the community believe that if it doesn’t directly affect me, I am not getting involved. My question is how long will it take before it gets to you?
There is so much pressure on law enforcement to change how they operate, but many community members are not willing to do the same. I am in no way saying that every LEO requires awards and badges, but I am saying if we demonize an entire group of professionals, what do we have left? I agree that cultural competence and ethical practices are necessary, but just like many who say they can’t stand any LEOs and hate their presence, some people have ingrained beliefs that require more than a two- to eight-week cultural competence and ethics training course. We all need to take a step back and look at how our biases and preconceived notions affect others.
So, I leave you with this, don’t judge a book by its cover. You have to make a decision. Do you want to develop trusting reciprocal relationships with the people trained to protect your safety? Or, will you be a person who continues to set up roadblocks, trip hazards, and finds the negative in everything law enforcement? We must start somewhere. LEOs, thank you for your commitment to serve, and I got your six!