Thoughts of a Sheepdog
I usually try and keep my professional life and social media separate, but after having the honor of attending the funeral for fallen Sgt. Sean Gannon I feel like something needs to be said.
As I stood there to pay my respects with the thousands of other Police Officers I thought to myself about why this tragedy happened. Why someone with the rest of his life in front of him had to be taken so soon. Why another Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) lost his life. It also made me reflect on my own life, my priorities, and how short life can be.
As the old saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” So why is it that LEOs are judged simply by their profession or their uniform? Yes I am a LEO, Sgt. Gannon was an LEO, but he was so much more than that. Being a police officer is how he earned a living, but he was also a son, a husband and so much more. I am a daughter, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a dog mom, an athlete, a travel bug, an animal lover, sometimes a stubborn pain in the butt, and so much more. We cannot simply be defined by the job title we hold.
So maybe you had a bad experience with a LEO, does that mean all LEOs are terrible? Did you ever have a teacher in school you did not like? I know I can think of a few. Does that mean all teachers are bad? Of course not. Most of them should be nominated for sainthood for dealing with crazy kids all day.
LEOs are no different. You may have had a bad experience, but the overwhelming majority of us got into this line of work because we wanted to help people. I’m not saying that we are all perfect. I know there are some ‘bad apples’ out there, but we do not condone them. We don’t want them wearing a badge any more than anyone else does. We see the worst in people and sometimes the best. The job can be super rewarding, but it can also be life-threatening.
Just by being a LEO I’m in danger. I’m always conscientious of being recognized out in public. The last thing I want is a confrontation when I am out with my family. When I first became a LEO my brother asked me for a thin blue line sticker to put on his car. I told him no. When he looked at me puzzled, I told him that by putting that on his car he would be making himself a target to anyone who hates LEOs. Whenever we are out and about my mother always finds someone to introduce me to and tell them I am a LEO. She means well, but this always seems to happen in a huge crowd of people within earshot of a bunch of strangers. Every time I have to remind her, “mom, there are a lot of people that don’t like us and I don’t feel like getting shot today.” She always says the same thing, “I am just so proud of you.” (Cue the eye roll. Moms will be moms).
It shouldn’t have to be like this, we shouldn’t have to constantly be looking over our shoulder for the next threat. What some people fail to remember is that we are human. We are LEOs, but humans first. We are not perfect, but if you need us we will be there.
The very sad truth is that every time that I strap on my vest and put on my uniform, it could be my last time. I’m not trying to be too morbid here but this is why it is so important to live every day like it is your last. Instead of making excuses as to why you can’t do something, think of all the reasons why you should. Don’t sweat the small stuff or the things that are out of your control, it’s not worth it. Take that extra vacation day to be with your family, go on that trip you’ve always wanted. Whatever your passion, get out there and live your life. At the end of the day, you're not going to remember all the stuff you’ve collected throughout your life but you will remember the people and the time you spent with them. We only get so many trips around the sun, make yours count.
And please, the next time you run into a LEO remember we are only human too.
- KT (@globetrotter_KT)
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Im so thrilled to have stumbled across the link that brought me here. I’m a bit speechless as to how well put together your thoughts and demeanor are through this whole writing, but all I can say is thank you. Thank you for being you, thank you for your sacrifices and diligence every day, and thank you for the courage to put this all in writing. You are wonderful, you are loved, and you are so appreciated. ❤️
Monica Misliaty Lee(non-registered)
What a heartfelt and meaningful Story and thank you for sharing. It is an inspiring. Respect and sallute to you, KT. I totally understand your pain. We are still humans anyway. We cannot satisfy everyone in this world and we are to. Pleasee stay safe. I still want to see your beautiful shots in IG :)
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