Sunday, December 5, 2021

Heroes that go unnoticed

As a child, we all likely embraced heroes at one time or another.

We often equate heroes to music stars, political figures, war giants, TV celebrities, or sports icons.

Prince, Queen Elizabeth, Audie Murphy, Walter Cronkite and Babe Ruth are just a few that come to mind.

They may even be fictional.

Super Man, Mickey Mouse, Batman or Spider Man have most likely influenced our lives at one time or another.

But there are heroes in our communities that often go unnoticed: police officers, sheriff’s deputies, paramedics, firefighters, dispatchers and EMS workers.

Public safety workers may not have the most attractive jobs in the world, but they are men and women committed to keeping us safe as we go about our everyday lives.

It’s always interesting to me how people condemn the police for their actions, yet who’s the first person those same folks reach out to when they are in trouble? You guessed it, police officers. When things go terribly wrong, we lean on the police to clean up the mess.

Many public safety workers are paid, while some are volunteers, especially in the smaller communities. No matter their status, I believe they are all underpaid and often underappreciated for what they do.

The one commonality in nearly every one of them is that they have a strong passion to serve others.

This week the Steele County Times has produced a special section devoted to the public safety professionals and volunteers in the county. Our tribute coincides with National Police Week, which honors law enforcement across the nation. It’s a time for us to respect, honor and remember those officers killed in the line of duty.

While talking to a couple of special deputies who recently retired from Steele County, they commented about how things had drastically changed from when they started 30 years ago. They have noticed how many younger people do not have respect for authority any longer.

Respect is something we need to make a priority in teaching our young children again so they can grow up and treat police with the respect they deserve. Perhaps ditching the violent video games may be a step in the right direction. As retiring special deputy Mark Kreutter pointed out, “You are what you eat and you become what you see.”

We want to thank all the men and women in public safety who are committed to keeping our communities safe from the lawless, rebellious and unruly folks who pose great danger in our society.

It’s easy for us to forget about the sacrifices these public safety warriors make for us to live in the comforts of our homes and go about our daily living. Police officers, for example, work all hours, holidays and weekends, often spending time away from their families.

After a tumultuous year of riots and protests aimed at police in the Twin Cities, it’s easy to get sidetracked and think all officers are like Derik Chauvin. That’s not the case. Nearly 100% of officers are hard-working and want to do the best possible for their communities.

Public safety heroes are invested in making the world a safer place for all of us. Please remember these heroes and thank them for all the work they do.

All police, fire and EMS  truly are heroes who seek very little recognition. They are unsung heroes who are selfless and heroic every time they answer a 911 call for help.

The least we can do is go in hot pursuit of showing our appreciation.



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Steele County Times

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