Every Friday on my morning radio show on New Jersey 101.5 FM I dedicate time to honor the men and women in Law Enforcement. My goal is to offer a counter to what seems is a cultural norm of spreading fear and hatred about police officers. Many Hollywood elites and groups like Black Lives Matters have pushed a narrative about police brutality that really doesn’t add up when you look at the facts and the sheer number of times law enforcement interacts with the public. Bottom line is that although there are prosecutable incidents, for the most part cops are out there every day, standing up for the community, solving problems and taking criminals off the streets.
There are more than 900,000 law enforcement officers in the country. These officers make more than 11 million arrests each year.
So when you look at the number of times an arrest makes national headlines because an officer is accused of misconduct or brutality, the percentage is infinitesimal. That’s not to say that if someone dies it’s not serious and should be investigated. However, when listening to the media, you’d think cops are running rampant, trampling people’s rights and killing people based on skin color. This is simply not the case. I thought at the outset of #BlueFriday that if the media posted a story and gave it Ferguson-style coverage every time a cop was killed in the line of duty, the narrative would change quickly. With a law enforcement officer dying on the job every 60 hours, there’d be a story every couple of days.
My thought was that instead, let’s focus on the real work that cops do and the critical support that they offer every day to our communities. We’ve had some great honorees over the past few months and today was no different.
Today we honored Union County Sheriff’s officer Jonathan Regan. The story that got him noticed is something that likely happens more often than you’d think, but wouldn’t necessarily generate a news story.
Another long day under his belt, Officer Regan was home, showered and finally sitting down to a meal. Then he got a call from his mother who works as a member of the Roselle Park First Aid Squad. There was a four-year-old boy with his godmother that had stopped by, hoping to meet a “real live policeman”. He was crying and mom called her son to help. Without hesitation Officer Regan’s up, with his uniform back on and out the door.
It may seem a small gesture, but to that four-year-old boy it will likely have a lasting impression. As the officer explained it, he had an experience as a young boy interacting with a police officer that helped guide him toward a career in law enforcement.
I’ve often said that contrary to popular culture and psychology telling people to not ‘sweat the small stuff’… you should! It’s the big stuff that you often can’t change…plane crashes, hurricanes, traffic jams, major health issues, to name a few. But the little things? You’re in control. Eye contact, picking up the phone, saying ‘thank you’… every day you’re making so many small decisions that can and will have an impact on the lives of others. It would’ve been easy for Officer Regan to stay home and just look to his strong career as a cop, having done so many other things for the community. He could’ve passed. But he didn’t. He got up and acted. And he may have changed the life of one young Jersey kid. Thanks officer. Well done.
— Shore Academy (@ShoreAcademy) March 18, 2016