I feel that this is a time to change direction from the usual messages that you see here and address the recent events that are affecting us around the nation, and in our community.
For the past few weeks, we have seen unprecedented attacks on law enforcement from around the country. We all understand that Law Enforcement can be a dangerous job, and many have made the ultimate sacrifice serving our state, county, and cities, but the planned attacks and ambushes that have occurred recently are disturbing facts that we must take seriously. Louisiana became the first to enact a Blue Live Matter statute, thus creating law enforcement as a protected class. In Alabama this week, a legislator is looking at a bill that would make targeting law enforcement a hate crime. The House and Senate have similar legislation under debate. Departments with the available man power have assigned two officers to patrol units and every agency has been talking to their officers about raising the level of safety. I was able to hear a great speaker last year that asked all officers every day to start their shift on one knee asking for the Lord’s protection and guidance, and I would love to see everyone take this message to heart, pray for our country and the direction that we are heading. Change in our country is possible, but it will only start with each one of us; we are responsible for our own actions and the consequences, good or bad that come from that decision.
Our law enforcement officers are asked to do more (most of the time with less resources) each day. We must wear several different hats at any given moment; we are peace officers first and foremost, but we are asked to also be therapist, mental health workers, attorneys, marriage counselors, social workers, etc. The list goes on, but I say this because it’s a huge job with huge responsibilities. We will make mistakes time to time because we are all human. Our desire is to learn from those mistakes and correct them the next time we are faced with a certain situation. We cannot do this job without the understanding and support of the public and I’m blessed to say that we have it here in Craighead County!
Something that has stood out in our community is the overwhelming show of support that law enforcement has been shown in Craighead County. In the past couple of weeks, someone has thanked me or told me how much they appreciate our service 3 or 4 times a day, deputies and policemen have had their meals paid for from people not wanting any recognition other than to say thank you, our local businesses, churches and organizations have had appreciation dinners and services. I could go on, but my point is that this is being done for the sole reason to show that we are not alone and our community stands in the gap alongside us every day! It’s easy to believe what you hear sometimes with all the chaos that we’ve seen and heard lately in the national media. I know that some of the law enforcement community thinks that the world has turned against them, but that’s not true. We have a very small percentage of our society that is making the most noise right now, and they are getting the attention. I believe there have always been good and bad people in this world and we are lucky that the vast majority of people are good and want to help in so many different ways.
I’ve been a part of Craighead County law enforcement for 25 years, and I’ve always felt the prayers and support of the people I serve. I’m blessed to be your Sheriff and want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve and protect this wonderful county!
Sheriff Marty Boyd