Backing The Blue Means You, Too

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Posted: Jun 04, 2021 9:00 AM
Backing The Blue Means You, Too

Source: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Last month, we celebrated National Police Week on Capitol Hill. It wasn't an event just for lawmakers in Washington, but for Americans across the country to honor, remember, and recognize our hardworking men and women in blue who work tirelessly every day to protect and serve our communities. 

In an age when supporting our law enforcement officers is not only politically unpopular but frowned upon by local leaders in towns and cities across the country, my support for these heroes will never waver. As the wife of a first responder and SWAT medic, I know just how difficult it can be to watch as loved ones respond to dangerous calls that risk their safety. The dreaded feeling never goes away when a call comes in at 3 o'clock in the morning and I get out of bed to make Matt a cup of coffee as he rushes out to respond to a scene. 

I've also been a community member—like millions of Americans nationwide—affected by the loss of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty. Three years ago, just a few minutes outside of Gainesville, Florida, two sheriff's deputies were shot while picking up lunch during a regular patrol. The loss of these heroes rocked our North Central Florida community and I often think about the memorial ceremony where hundreds lined the roads from the memorial to the cemetery. And I still think about their families and colleagues who unfortunately are not the only ones dealing with similar tragedies.

So far this year, we've lost more than 120 officers in the line of duty, and we've just reached June. It has never been more dangerous to be a police officer in America than it is today, and rhetoric from the progressive Left has done nothing to affirm the good work our brave officers do on a daily basis. 

In fact, during National Police Week, my Democratic colleagues made few mentions of the important work our officers do, choosing not to acknowledge the week or join with Republicans for a bipartisan effort to show our gratitude for those who defend and protect our districts across the country. Thanking our law enforcement officers does not fit within their narrative. Because in the liberals’ minds, one bad officer makes all law enforcement officers evil.

I know it's true that there's nothing a good police officer hates more than a bad one. But it's growing increasingly hard to make this distinction when the media chooses to focus on the tragic negative incidents, instead of those that inspire hope and change in our communities. Rather than highlighting the officers who use their own money to purchase Christmas gifts for children in the communities they patrol or those who stop on a hot summer day to play a pick-up game of basketball with some children in a park, we choose to tear each other apart. 

We've chosen to defund our police departments and send social workers into our communities instead. As I've said many times, I don't know about you, but I don't want a community liaison talking a domestic partner out of abusing his wife because a police officer is more suited to this dangerous job and will be forevermore. 

Despite the divisive rhetoric that permeates so many aspects of our lives these days, a thin blue line army is growing in support of our law enforcement officers. I was proud to speak at Leader McCarthy's Back The Blue Bike Tour during National Police Week and to deliver the first Republican address of the 117th Congress on this very topic. My Republican colleagues and I will never back down from standing up for our law enforcement officers during a time when doing the very job they are hired to do leaves them feeling demoralized and undervalued. 

To our officers doing a thankless job every day, we see beyond the badge; we see you. To the families and loved ones of our first responders, we are behind you. To those we've lost in the line of duty, rest easy. We've got the watch. 

Congresswoman Kat Cammack proudly represents Florida's Third Congressional District as the youngest Republican woman in Congress. She serves on the House Homeland Security and Agriculture Committees and is the proud wife of her firefighter/SWAT medic husband Matt.