Hey guys, first off I just wanted to say that this is my first controversial-ish topic on this site. A lot of people aren't going to agree with what I have to say, but I want to put my opinion forward and let everyone know where I stand on this. If you want to put your opinion forward too, feel free, but just know that nothing anyone says is going to make me change my mind on this. With that said, let's get started.

Picture this: you just finished a long shift at work or a late night lecture at school. You fall into bed, exhausted, without locking the door behind you. In the middle of the night you hear a noise and you start panicking because you know there's someone in your house that shouldn't be. You barricade yourself in your room and dial up 911. After explaining your emergency, you're told that the police are on their way. Moments later you hear "POLICE! COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!" somewhere else in your house and then there's an officer in your room helping you out and making sure you're safe. You don't know what that burglar could've been capable of, all you know is that you're safe now. Okay, now imagine that same situation, only from a different perspective. Imagine you are the police. You went to work that day, kissing your spouse and kids goodbye, not knowing what was going to happen on your shift. You get a call late that night of a B & E and rush to the scene, not knowing what to expect, only knowing that there's someone in that house that needs help. This burglar could have a gun, he could have help waiting to ambush you, you might not come out of this situation alive. But you know that it's your job to get that homeowner out of there safe and sound. So you go.

Everyday, officers around the world go to work. They kiss their wives/husbands and hug their kids goodbye. They have no clue what they might have to deal with on the clock. It can range from doing a presentation at a school with a class of kindergartners, to having to take down a guy with a gun. They put that badge on in the morning and guess what? They might not come home. Every day those officers go to work, there's a chance that their wives/husbands and their kids and their parents are going to get that tragic call that changes their lives. There's a chance that when they kiss their kids goodbye, it might be for good. But let me tell you something, those officers don't do their job for the money. They don't do it for the fame. They do it because there are people in the world that need to be protected, and so they took an oath to protect and serve those people. It doesn't matter the race or the age or the gender or whatever else people might say, if someone needs help, you can bet that those officers will be there no matter what.

Some of you might be wondering how I know all this and if I've dealt with the police or needed help from them. I haven't, thank God, but I have dealt with the police in a different way. There are officers in my tiny county in Michigan that were there when I was born. That were there for my Quinceanera. That were there for my birthday parties. That came to see me off to my senior prom. But above all, there's one officer that has been there with me through literally everything, my dad. Yes, I am the (incredibly proud) daughter of a police officer. Now I can sit here and tell you the best things about having a cop for a dad, (like eating donuts and having the police car at my house all the time) but instead I'm going to tell you the scariest part: not knowing what will happen while he's at work. The scariest part is knowing that at any moment someone could take the most important man in my life away from me.

Every time I'm scrolling through social media (especially this past week) and I see something involving cops that didn't go the best, it literally makes my stomach hurt. It doesn't matter where it happens or when it happens because I know that situations like those could happen anywhere. By now I'm sure you all have heard about the shootings that happened this past week. And I know everyone is blaming the cops in the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile cases. Now I'm not going to sit here and make up excuses for those officers because I can tell you that they were out of line. But I am going to bring up one of the five officers shot and killed in Dallas. Mr. Patrick Zamarripa. Zamarripa was in the Navy and did three tours of Iraq which no doubt showed him awful things that no one should ever have to see. Following his Iraq tours, he came back to the U.S. and joined the Dallas Police Department. In addition to being a dedicated Cowboys and Rangers fan and a dedicated officer and husband, Zamarripa was a dedicated father. A FATHER. WITH TWO KIDS. He had a young son and an even younger daughter that were literally his reasons for living. Zamarripa went to work that morning, saying goodbye to his family, and he never. came. home.

I'm writing this post because it hurts me to see all these negative comments about police officers. What people don't realize is that these men and women give their lives so that someone else can live. But one freaking bad thing happens that involves the cops and EVERYONE IS AGAINST THEM. Let's keep in mind that without police officers, the world would not be a safe place. Without police officers the crime rate would be even higher than it is. Let's keep in mind that while you are safe, asleep in your bed, there are officers out there making sure you're safe, even at three in the morning. Let's keep in mind that while you enjoy spending time with your family on weekends and holidays, there are officers out there who have to rush off from family gatherings and can only stop in for a minute. Let's keep in mind that while you're parents came to your sporting events and stayed for the whole thing, my dad only could see a part of the game or competition and it broke his heart not being able to see me cheer or dance or stunt.

I'm writing this post because I've decided to take a stand for those officers who do so much for us. I'm writing this post for all the fallen officers that have been killed while on duty. I'm writing this post for the officers of every race, age, and gender that have ever protected me. I'm writing this post for all the officers that have watched me grow up and been there for me and are like my big brothers. I'm writing this post for my dad and my uncle who have dedicated their lives to save yours. I'm writing this post because NOT EVERY OFFICER IS BAD JUST LIKE NOT EVERY AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN IS BAD. I'm writing this post because blue lives matter too and if anyone wants to argue with me on that, let them. I'm writing this for Patrick Zamarripa, and Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Krol, and Brent Thompson, who were shot and KILLED while protecting the innocent lives of others in Dallas, Texas on July 7, 2016. I'm writing this for the wives and husbands and sons and daughters and mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers of officers around the world, both those still serving and those who didn't make it and those who have retired. I'm writing this post because it's time someone takes a stand for all those officers who have done all the things they have for us. I'm writing this post because I BELIEVE THAT BLUE LIVES MATTER TOO AND I WILL NEVER NOT APPRECIATE EVERY SINGLE OFFICER THAT GOES TO WORK EVERY DAY WITHOUT KNOWING IF THEY WILL COME HOME.

So argue with me on this, tell me that we would do better without police. Tell me that you hate police. Tell me that it's a waste of your tax money to have police. But remember that when something happens and you call 911 and those officers come to help you.

I dedicate this post to Patrick Zamarripa's family and the families of the other four officers who were shot and killed in Dallas on July 7th. May God be with you through this time and keep you strong.

-xxx, dallas

Published by Dallas Gomez