We are truly blessed to live in a nation filled with an abundance of freedom and opportunity that allow us to pursue lives down the paths of our own choosing.  Yet, those freedoms and opportunities are only possible if they are preserved and defended.

Our freedom and liberty are preserved and defended domestically by the rule of law and laws are only as good as their enforcement.  There will always be those who, for their own benefit, choose to disregard the laws that we as a society have created.

Law enforcement officers are the only thing preventing this land of freedom and opportunity from disintegrating into a land of chaos and violence. They are truly, our front line of defense and that thin blue line is being stressed now more than ever.  Law enforcement is under attack in our country.

Those who enjoy the very protections and freedoms that our police make possible have become increasingly eager to scrutinize, criticize and attack the very people who protect them.  They cowardly hide behind that thin blue line of protection and analyze every split second decision officers are forced to make, usually focusing on one small snippet of footage or information while being oblivious to the total situation as it existed. Worse yet, rather than seeking an analysis of the facts when questions arise, there is a growing propensity to incite others and evoke violence.  

Sadly, this has resulted in increasing violence towards our officers.  Officers have become the target of violence in ways that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago.  To say that these are disturbing trends is a gross understatement and these are trends that we as individuals and communities must change.  The enormously stressful and dangerous occupation of law enforcement has become even more so in today’s world. 

It seems that one of the most troubling questions facing law enforcement officers today is simply whether or not those for whom they work, the very people they protect, support them and have their back.  It’s a question worth asking and a reassurance our officers need and deserve.   I can say with great certainty that in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County the answer is a resounding “yes, this community is behind you!”   

Both the elected officials and the citizens of this community support our officers.  We understand the sacrifice our officers make and appreciate what they do to preserve our way of life by keeping the peace and preserving our safety.  The people of this community value their freedoms and they understand what law enforcement officers do to make those freedoms possible.  They understand with great clarity because of the tragic sacrifices made by Lt. Russell Baldwin, Marshal Les Oaks, Marshal Mark Clapp and the families they left behind.

I know that many of you have reached out to thank our officers over the course of the tragic events the last few weeks and for that I am very grateful.  If you have not had the opportunity to do so I would ask that you please consider offering a word of appreciation the next time you encounter one of the officers who serves and protects this great community.  Regardless of the color of their uniform, they all work collectively to ensure our safety and enforce the laws that preserve our freedom.  In fact, all our emergency responders work seamlessly together and your words of appreciation are greatly appreciated by any of them.

A simple thank you and a few kind words to let them know you are behind them means more today than it has ever meant.  May we never forget that sacrifices that have been made to ensure we live in peace and may God bless our officers, protecting them every moment they serve this community.