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Black Lives Matter.

That's it. I have no caveats, no 'but...', no exceptions. Every black life matters.

Now, I've been hearing this for a year, usually in hashtags, or screamed at me by protestors. Usually, that's all the protestors say. That's what they want, they want black lives to matter. Well? They can stop protesting now, because they got what they want. They want black lives to matter, and they do.

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We all know this job isn’t easy--each day we prepare for battle; each day we live our life on and off duty in the proverbial fishbowl; we have a front row seat to the deepest moments of despair; and we ride a roller coaster that if we’re not careful takes a physical and emotional toll on us and those around us.But you matter and the work we do together matters as first responders.  Yes, this job has difficulties but they are worth it.

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I miss my badge.  You see, I never wanted to be a cop.  The joke was on me though because I did an internship and realized I loved it.  A series of events led me to a city I never even wanted to visit and plopped me behind the badge of a department that has had its fair share of blemishes.  More than that, it was chock full of men and women working miracles with little support and few supplies. As my mom pinned my new badge on my chest, it shined with the pride of thousands who’d gone before

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Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends -Jesus of Nazareth By the time you read these words, it is likely that another law enforcement officer left for his shift and did not return home.  This isn’t happening in some far away place that you’ve only read about in books or seen in a documentary; it’s not just happening inside your television or on your social media newsfeeds; it’s happening to real men and women of valor in our own back yards and roads; It’s happening right here, right now. Still, as

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“Those who fight monsters inevitably change. Because of all that they see and do, they lose their innocence, and a piece of their humanity with it. If they want to survive, they begin to adopt some of the same characteristics as the monsters they fight. It is necessary. They become capable of rage, and extreme violence. There is a fundamental difference, however. They keep those monster tendencies locked away in a cage, deep inside. That monster is only allowed out to protect others, to accomplish the mission, to get the job done…..Not for the perverse pleasure that the monsters feel

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