While we are all grateful to police officers for putting themselves in harms way to protect our communities, we may forget about the many other ways police officers and departments serve us every day. These days, policing does not just include responding to crime. Here are a few other ways that police officers serve our communities that we may have forgotten.
Police officers don’t just serve as protectors. Many of them serve as educators as well. Every day across the country, law enforcement officers visit schools to educate students on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and other high risk behaviors. With the nationwide opioid epidemic showing no signs of slowing, police officers are more important than ever when it comes to educating youth on the dangers of drugs. These education programs put on by police officers change lives every day.
At many schools around the country, police officers are on duty protecting students as school resource officers. These officers work every day to ensure that schools are safe, while also providing support to teachers and staff in disciplinary incidents. School resource officers are also the first line of defense against school shootings, which have become all too common in the United States today.
Buying and selling items online can be risky. Thankfully, police departments across the country have made it safer by designating department parking lots as exchange zones for people buying and selling items online. This keeps all parties safe.
Many police departments offer ride along programs that give civilians a real glimpse into the day in the life of a police officer. These programs often help young people decide whether or not they are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. For others, it is a way to better understand the challenges and sacrifices police officers make every day while serving their communities.