I must say when I first got into Law Enforcement things were much different than now. I knew going in that being a Police Officer was a dangerous job, but I never knew that I would see attacks on Police Officers as we do today.
The day I first got my badge and was sworn in as a Police Officer, I was so proud! Up to that day in my life, I had been all around the Country, had many amazing opportunities in the music business, had met many famous people, and had even made a decent living. All of those experiences pale in comparison to the moment I held the badge in my hand for the first time. That moment forever changed me. I never saw that badge as a “get out of jail free” or a “pass to speed” down the highway. I never saw it as my way to have “power” over others. The day I got my badge after being sworn in, I could not put it down because I loved to look at it. To me, putting that badge on meant so much to me. It meant tremendous responsibility, it meant honor, and it meant integrity.
I never knew some of the things my eyes would see, the pain I would feel, and the despair I would witness. I never actually thought I would see the barrel of a gun pointed at my head, or have to fight for my own life outside of a bar during a call. I never thought I would have to see a friend die in the line of duty. I never thought I would have to walk in and see a young girl who I pastored in my youth group lying dead on the floor from a heroin overdose, or that I would walk in and see a nurse who we all worked with murdered in her own home. I never thought I would know an officer that has taken their own life, or that I would have to watch a child die. I never thought I would be the last person the victim of a car accident talked to before he passed away. I never thought I would see so many Police Officers around the Country executed just for wearing a badge.
Today, Officers are being attacked on a regular basis just for wearing the badge. Just a couple of days ago on July 27th, Lt. Aaron Allan (nicknamed Teddy Bear) from Southport, Indiana was fatally shot when he responded to a car accident involving a car that was flipped over. That Officer responded as fast as he could to help, only to be shot and killed by the victim in the car. As that gentle giant “Teddy Bear” rushed to that car knowing he could help, he never thought that would be his last act of service.
I must admit that being a Police Officer today is not easy. There are many nights with no sleep. Many scenes are replayed when you close your eyes. It is very frustrating to be spit on, yelled at, and mocked for doing the right thing all while being recorded by someones cell phone that is stuck in your face. However, I am still as proud today to hold that badge in my hand than I was the day I got it. We have so many amazing and talented Law Enforcement Officers throughout our County. Men and Women who put in many long hours, who care, and work hard to protect their communities.
I am proud to serve as a Police Officer, and proud to run for Tazewell County Sheriff. I know that I will be able to to fulfill the three major objectives I have set in this campaign. Transparency, Unity, and Leadership. As the Sheriff, I will always stand along side our Officers, support them, pray for them, and move forward together.
Thank you for believing in me,