RADFORD – From a solemn poem reading to a thunderous round of applause, Radford honored its law enforcement officers at Monday’s Radford City Council meeting in recognition of National Police Week.
Chief Angie Frye and three of her officers were in attendance to receive a council proclamation honoring the week.
“The safety and well-being of the citizens of Radford are of the utmost importance to the Radford City Police Department,” reads the proclamation. “Individuals have committed their lives to protecting and serving Radford’s families, businesses, neighborhoods, schools and community. The men and women of RCPD risk their lives in the line of duty to maintain the safety of our community while striving to uphold the rule of law.”
“All citizens of Radford value the courage, commitment and leadership demonstrate by our state and local law enforcement officers, who work diligently to ensure our safety,” the proclamation continues. “We pay tribute to the officers who have fallen in the line of duty and recognize the sacrifices made by the families of those officers, as well as the families of those who continue to protect and serve our communities. It is critical that we understand the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement officers within our communities, and commemorate and pay tribute to the dedicated service of officers past and present.”
Following the presentation of the proclamation, Council Member Rob Gropman recited a poem titled “The Policeman’s Fight,” by Richard White, a man who, according to www.policeone.com, has 10 years of law enforcement experience in the greater Houston area. White “wanted to write a poem that would give outsiders an insider perspective on the hardships faced and sacrifices made by law enforcement officers with the ultimate goal to create awareness and appreciation for what police officers do.”
The poem reads:
The Policeman’s Fight
I am a policeman,
And this is my fight.
As I tuck in my family,
And kiss them goodnight.
I take one last look,
Drawing everything in.
For I am not sure,
If I will see them again.
I put on my uniform,
And strap on my vest.
I prepare for the worst,
And hope for the best.
I affix my gun belt,
Make sure all is secure.
I say one final prayer,
For St. Michael to hear.
According to the book of Matthew,
“Blessed are those who keep the peace.”
I confront evil every day,
Just read your local press release.
For I am a Sheepdog,
I protect the flock of sheep.
Against the heinous pack of the wolves,
That harass them when they sleep.
I embark on my shift,
So much work to be done.
Writing reports and citations,
Chasing a felon with a gun.
For each night is different,
Get to experience something new.
Have to stay mentally prepared,
For each crime that I pursue.
The things I have seen,
Would surpass your worst nightmare.
Some things are too horrific,
And too graphic for me to share.
The sheer evil that exists,
Is far from in decline.
Just be glad there’s a select few,
Who put their lives on the line.
Because the only thing required,
For evil in this world to win.
Is for good men to do nothing,
Which is a far greater sin.
Yet this responsibility comes,
At a great sacrifice.
There’s a permanent target on my back,
Some of us pay the ultimate price.
I’ve lost some good friends,
Sad memories from the past.
Victims of divorce, corruption,
And their families being harassed.
Depression and PTSD.
I thank God every day,
These things have not happened to me.
Sure, we have our share of corruption,
But it pales in comparison.
To the attorney, the athlete,
The financier and politician.
The numbers speak for themselves,
The research is overdone.
Less than one half of one percent,
Will disgrace our badge and gun.
So be cautious and careful,
Of the stories on TV.
That paint a negative picture,
Of my brothers, sisters, and me.
For we ride the thin blue line,
Making life and death choices every day.
My split-second decisions,
Will be criticized in every way.
But until you walk in my shoes,
And see what I’ve seen.
You can’t possibly imagine,
The stress on my scene.
Although we’re on a pedestal,
We are people just like you.
On the outside we may bleed red,
But deep down we bleed blue.
At last, it’s the end of my shift,
Finally time to get some sleep.
Think I only need four hours,
To maintain my upkeep.
With all my EJs and OT,
Wearing my body thin.
Drowsy and tired,
I still hold up my chin.
I walk into each bedroom,
And kiss my family goodnight.
So thankful to God,
That I’ve survived another night.
With all the controversy and assumptions,
You may not like what I do.
But at the end of the day,
I will lay down my life for you!