Thanks for coming to the rescue- again E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

The recent super storm known as Sandy has devastated parts of the East Coast and taken roughly 100 lives. The Jersey Shore, Atlantic City, Staten Island, Long Island and scores of other communities in New York and New Jersey are still trying to get back to something like normal.

As is usually the case when disaster strikes, we saw inspiring tales of citizens helping each other out in a tough situation. Even the national nightmare that was the never-ending 2012 presidential campaign was put on hold as adversaries put politics on hold in order to help those impacted by the storm.

But what really stood out was the performance of the brave men and women of public safety. Not only did first responders have to make sure their own families were safe, they then had to put on the uniform and go to work saving others.

Despite submerged cars, huge power outages, transformer explosions and just about everything else, law enforcement officers somehow managed to get the job done. Families trapped in the attics of their residences were brought to safety. People who lost everything were secured food and shelter.

Even beloved family pets that might have washed away by the floodwaters were rescued and reunited with their owners.

Not everyone made it, including NYPD Officer Artur Kasprzak — a six-year veteran of the NYPD. He managed to get six family members to safety before he was tragically lost to the storm.

It’s during these kinds of disasters when the general public sees the vast majority of cops for what they really are— selfless public servants dedicated to serving and protecting their communities come hell, or in this case, high water.

It’s one of the rare times when the public is more likely to see a photo of a police officer hauling a wounded dog out of a sewer than a misleading or selectively edited use-of-force video on YouTube.

Some people have said, “there’s never a cop around when you need one.” But that tired cliché couldn’t be further from the truth.

When disaster strikes people desperately need the police for a variety of reasons. And 999 times out of 1,000 police respond quickly, compassionately and professionally.

That last part’s important. There are lots of folks these days that quite frankly don’t think cops are necessary. These are the people who talk about fiscal cliffs, pensions and unfunded liabilities. Cash strapped cities all over the country are laying off cops and in many areas, replacing them with untrained, unarmed civilian volunteers.

These people will say that there’s nothing particularly heroic or complicated about what public safety professionals do and that the climbing cost of policing is unsustainable.

Some buy that proposition and some don’t. But one thing’s for sure — when disaster strikes police officers can make the difference between life and death for residents and citizens. For a lot of us that seems like the kind of insurance that’s well worth paying for.

No one’s slamming security guards, civilian police volunteers or anyone else that isn’t a certified peace officer. But the kind of commitment and dedication that real cops show time and time again when Mother Nature freaks out is not something you can teach.

The kind of person that immediately starts thinking of others when disaster strikes is a special breed.

Some call them heroes. Others call them cops. But whatever people call them they sure come through in the clutch. It seems like that’s the kind of thing that’s worth preserving and protecting.


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