It happens way too often: a law enforcement officer sacrificed in the line of duty, and this week we saw it again with the slaying of Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy Robert French and the wounding of two fellow CHP officers. It’s tragic, heartbreaking, and tears at the fabric of any community.
Pat and I are acquainted with many in law enforcement, but the only one I can say I am truly close to is my niece’s husband, Miguel Stansberry, who has been an officer, SWAT team member and now detective in our hometown of Lacey Washington for 20 years.
So we were compelled to call him this morning, to ask him how we, average citizens, can help in times like this. His answer?
“We don’t really expect anyone to really do or say anything.” He told us. “Every time a community loses an officer, it’s tough not only for that department…but the whole community loses a big part of it. (But) it’s something that we love, we’d do it every day no matter what, and that’s just part of it.”
Modesty and “it’s just our job” aside, Miguel said gestures of appreciation are appreciated, and do not go unnoticed, whether it’s a gift box of goodies dropped off at the station house or bags full of sandwiches delivered by a fellow officer crawling on his belly through a damp, rainy forest.
Miguel cited an example where a neighborhood made sandwiches for him and fellow SWAT team members while they were on a call one rainy night. It’s a pretty funny story but also a good example that, while their job is “just something” they do, like anyone, a little compassion and empathy from “average citizens” is always welcome. Listen below.