Police, Firefighters And The Military: Thank You!

To the members of the military, police officers, firefighters, EMS workers corrections officers and all of the other professions who work to keep Americans safe…Thank you!

Before getting started let me first say that this article is not meant to be political commentary as I don’t believe that the Hallmark Abstract Service blog is the proper venue for discussing my ideological views.

But it is an excellent forum for discussing career and career choices!

Therefore, this is an opportunity to thank those who have chosen a career path that the vast majority of Americans would never think to do or even consider doing.

These are the job categories that basically entail keeping other Americans safe from harm!

They include the 2.7 million members of the United States military, the 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers, the 1.1 million firefighters (345,950 were career firefighters and 783,300 were volunteers), the 470,000 corrections officers, the 800,000 EMS professionals, CIA, FBI and so on (I apologize for any not mentioned).

The jobs they do!

Typically the headlines or the lead stories on radio or television will usually, and sensationally, concern one isolated and tragic incident in which a mistake was made and a potentially innocent victim injured of killed.

Rhetoric will fly and fingers will be pointed in an attempt to vilify, typically before all of the facts are known.

Of course in these public service jobs, as in any profession, there will be some small percentage of bad apples.

And, once all of the facts surrounding a specific incident are determined, that may prove to be the case.

But making mistakes or using bad judgement is unfortunately part of the DNA of humans.

However consider that there are bad teachers who commit crimes against students and yet all teachers are not painted with that same brush.

Over the weekend in NYC another crane accident occurred yet all construction workers are not grouped with the ones whose mistake could have been even more tragic had it happened during a workday.

An Amtrak train recently derailed due to what could be the failings of the engineer but all transportation workers are not under suspicion as a result.

So why does our society take what are some of the toughest and most important jobs, the jobs that so few are willing to do, and immediately convict those who have had work-related incidents in the court of public opinion and ask questions later?

Political expedience and furthering of personal agendas comes to mind.

But consider that of all the decisions at work that most of us need to make in a given day few if any have life and death consequences making the quote “YOU CAN’T REALLY UNDERSTAND ANOTHER PERSON’S EXPERIENCE UNTIL YOU’VE WALKED A MILE IN THEIR SHOES.” so relevant here.

On September 11, 2001 as workers in the World Trade Center struggled to get out of the buildings, these heroes were running in

  • 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)
  • 37 police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD)
  • 23 police officers from the New York City Police Department (NYPD)
  • 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private hospital units dispatched through the 911 system, as well as commercial ambulance groups brought in under “mutual aid” for this disaster emergency medical services
  • 3 New York State Court Officers

Consider these facts about policing

  • According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2013, a decrease of 4.4 percent from 2012.
  • Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 20,538 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
  • A total of 1,466 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 60 hours or 146 per year. There were 117 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2014.
  • On average, over the last decade, there have been 58,930 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,404 injuries. (Source)

And this story about NYC’s Rikers Island that actually inspired this article

The city is set to spend more than $700,000 testing what are presumably bodily fluids thrown at correction officers by inmates—a practice colorfully known at Rikers Island as “splashing.”

Listed among the “highlights” of the Department of Correction’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year was a $733,248 forensic testing program program to “test department uniforms as a result of splashing incident.”

“That’s when inmates throw feces and urine and stuff on the staff,” Mr. Ponte explained the term after a Council hearing this morning‘ (Source)

And statistics and story’s like these exist for all of those whose job it is to serve and protect us.

Which brings me to the actual purpose of the article which is to offer my thanks and appreciation to all who serve so that other Americans can live free and safe!

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Article author Michael Haltman is the President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

For anyone either buying or refinancing a property your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider, although you always have the right to choose your own (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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