Support for law enforcement officers

Published 4:56 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2016

As we continue to grieve the loss of law enforcement officers in the unspeakable acts in Dallas and Baton Rouge, our nation is reminded of the tremendous responsibility shouldered by our police.

Every day, these men and women report for duty knowing full well that they may not come home to their families at the end of their shift, but they make that sacrifice nonetheless because they believe in serving their communities and keeping their citizens safe. That these officers fell in the midst of their efforts to protect and defend these communities is as unconscionable as it is heartbreaking.

These horrific tragedies remind us, especially those in public leadership positions, that we must embrace our law enforcement and hold them up, for we are a nation of laws and our laws exist solely because our society has committed itself to upholding them and the values that bind us.

The rule of law is the fundamental fabric of our society — it is what has separated us as the world’s shining example for more than two centuries. And the rule of law can only be maintained by the courage and sacrifice that law enforcement personnel demonstrate by putting their lives on the line every day for the sake of the rest of us and the laws by which we have democratically chosen to live.

On Aug. 2, communities across Virginia’s Fifth District, the entire commonwealth and the nation come together to participate in National Night Out, providing an opportunity for these communities to spend time together so law enforcement better know those they serve and vice versa.

Recognizing the need for partnership between police and the neighborhoods they protect, these fun-filled events strengthen police-community relations, which in turn seek to reduce crime and improve the safety and well-being of our communities. I would encourage you and your family to take part in your local National Night Out event to not only show your support for law enforcement but to also offer them feedback on the most effective ways to keep a community safe.

Our appreciation for and engagement with law enforcement cannot be reserved solely for one day a year; we should remember and be thankful for their sacrifices each day, just as our police must be involved with our citizens each day to remain open and accountable to those they serve.

Robert Hurt, a Republican, represents Charlotte County in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at his Farmville office at (434) 395-0120.