Imagine the strain of being black and wearing the blue — to live and patrol in communities of color where “F**k The Police” is a celebrated old-school anthem and where some believe you’re better off dead. Imagine the anxiety of being in your own home, having to keep your gun in sight, and never being fully comfortable that you’re safe from those who are in the fringe and wish you harm.

What they fail to understand is that I’m from the community and just one degree of separation from living in their world. My twin brother and I took different paths in life. He developed a dependency on drugs and spiraled into a life of crime that led to his incarceration. This is why making arrests is still a very difficult part of my job. Like 99 percent of those in law enforcement, I did not get into this profession to disrupt or end lives; rather, I want to save the lives of so many people — like my brother.

Most police officers do this job because they love the communities they serve. We chose to be in a profession where every day you get to make a difference, whether it’s saving a child from an unhealthy home, coming to the aid of a domestic violence victim, finding shelter for the homeless, or getting a reckless drunk driver off the road. 

Complete Letter at Grio.com

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