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When a police officer is killed, it isn’t just his department or his family or the people that knew him well that truly feel that loss. The community they served along with the entire Thin Blue Line community suffers as well. The nation loses someone who dedicated their career to the safety of others at the risk of their own. Your average person doesn’t run in the direction of a dangerous person knowing they’re dangerous but cops do this every day. When a man or woman of that mindset, that personality, that lifestyle is gunned down attempting to protect others, everyone is left worse off. The world grows colder.

Ask yourself, would you risk being killed in efforts to protect a stranger? Some may say yes but when the chips are down they’d flee with the rest of the crowd. Police have chosen to not flee. They made that decision when they started. It’s part of the job. They’ve preemptively chosen before the facts of the situation are known that they will risk not going home to their family if it meant a stranger has an opportunity to go home to theirs.

I come from a Chicago Police family. Despite the shows on TV that depict numerous crooked cops, the majority of police are good men and women that want to make a positive difference in the world. They want to protect people. They want to help. Yes, there are some that abuse the power they’re given and leave a stain on law enforcement everywhere. Let me tell you, real cops despise them as well and don’t want to be associated with them. Cops wanted to be trusted by the community like they once were. Unfortunately, media, TV, and a few bad cops ruined that. It takes years to build a reputation but only seconds to destroy it.

Commander Paul Bauer served the people of Chicago for 31 years. He was killed off-duty when assisting a tact team looking for a subject because he happened to be in the vicinity. Bauer located the subject and attempted to detain him when the subject shot him six times, killing him. When most people go home from work, they don’t think about it until the next day. Most definitely won’t put in work when they’re off the clock. A police officer’s job is never done. Based on personality, not a job title, some people cannot turn away when someone else threatens those around them. Commander Bauer had his life taken from him in the course of him doing what he’d been doing for 31 years, protecting those around him.

There are few people remaining in this world that are willing to lay down their lives for others. While all hope that day never comes, we know that for many it does. People used to stand behind our officers but nowadays it seems as though more are standing behind the criminals. I stand with those willing to protect others and risk their own safety. I stand with the Thin Blue Line.

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