We make friends for our clients. We make enemies for our clients. That’s what they pay us to do. And when we fight, we fight to win. That’s why they hire us–because they think we will.
And frankly, most of the time, we do. We try to out work the other side (Curtis), out smart the other side (Peter), or occasionally, just out spend the other side (me).
But while we’ll ask stupid questions for our clients, lose sleep for our clients, and miss family events for our clients; one thing we generally don’t do for our clients is take bullets. Our hourly rates just don’t cover the workers comp involved with that kind of lead poisoning.
And at the end of the day, if we find ourselves in a fight we don’t want to be in, representing people we can’t whole heartedly represent, or just without the resources or the facts to “bring it”–we look for a way out.
By contrast, between 100 and 200 law enforcement officers die in the line of duty every year. If that doesn’t sound like a lot to you, start counting your family members. You can stop when you get to 200.
50,000 more will get assaulted and 14,000 will get wounded in the line of duty.
I have a friend whose husband was part of that last statistic. In a matter of seconds, he became a quadriplegic. The next chapter of his life was full of doctors, hospitals, home care nurses, medicines, infections, and eventually amputation and depression. He died a few years later, but not before he and his family had been down a long, hard road.
I can give more examples–but the point isn’t so much the anecdotes as the general principal. In a time when law enforcement has taken a beating, I think it’s time for us as citizens to show our gratitude.
There are 780,000 men and women in the USA who don a uniform every day. We call them law enforcement because that is what they swear to do–uphold the law. They don’t get to pick their clients. They don’t get to pick their fights. They don’t even get to pick which laws. And this world is just plain not Mayberry.
Perhaps to you, a job is just a job. A client is just a client. But to law enforcement families, generally, their job is a way of life. It involves service, sacrifice, and danger.
So take a few minutes today to say “thanks!” Start with the ones you know–a friend, a brother-in-law, a cousin. And if you get a chance, reach out to a few you don’t know. Pay for their coffee or stop them at the gym. Say thanks.
Maybe we can make this county a little more like Mayberry after all.