The State Troopers will stop for stranded motorists. They’ll help them change tires, call for help and provide a blanket of security during an otherwise harrowing experience. No person wants to be alone on the shoulder of a highway – a general statement I’m willing to make under the guise that I’m sure no one’s going to argue with it.

As lawmen assigned specifically to the roads, the state-funded Highway Patrol also does what it can to keep people driving safely, non-aggressively and at reasonable speeds. Many of the troopers I’ve spoken to say this is not only to protect the offenders, but those who could die as a result of the offenders’ actions.

But as is the case with all lawmen, Troopers are people with family and friends, personal lives and responsibilities beyond their occupation. They also make mistakes at work and while off the clock – like all children of God do.

Perhaps, however, no job garnishes as much scrutiny from the public as that of a lawman. In enforcing laws in an effort to keep people safe, the lawbreakers sometimes view police officers, sheriff’s deputies and troopers as heartless men and women on power trips who act on vendettas.

I doubt this is true.

For the majority of lawmen – much like journalists – are not in the field for money. They’ve launched their careers to serve a purpose much greater: the good of mankind.

Speaking from experience, this is something corporate Americans do not grasp. Corporate Americans (and law-breaking scoundrels) choose their fields because they make good money in them and they’re interesting. Many would drop the interesting part to just make money, if need be. The purpose of a job is to make money, according to them.

Someone entering a field to “give back to the community,” for instance, is a phenomenon they have not grasped. People think I’m nuts for entering journalism because I want to help out the world.

So I am not surprised to hear the viewpoints of my corporate American acquaintances regarding police as being relatively sinister. Police officers don’t make a lot of money – therefore, they’re clearly exercising envy when they write a banker, engineer or small-but-successful business owner a ticket, right?

Isn’t everyone envious?

This also explains why cops get hounded when they break the law themselves. Sure, there’s the copout that they’re paid with tax dollars and are therefore “employees“ of the tax payers, but in actuality, the reason stories about fallen cops are valuable to the newspapers is because they sell papers. Everyone wants to read about a cop getting arrested, fired or fined … serves those assholes right, correct?

You can’t blame the papers – which, let me remind you, are trying to make money just like everything else – for this … blame the readers and their selfish attractions.

That said, I hope everyone understands and respects the selfless role law enforcement plays in their respective communities, especially during a busy time like Labor Day. These men could die at work tonight after they’ve kissed their wife and children goodbye – and it’d only be because they were trying to protect us all.

May we all never lose sight of that.

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