FBINAA Magazine Q1-2022-final-v4


F B I N A A . O R G | Q 1 2 0 2 2

Mike Hardee

What the World Needs Now…

A new year always brings hope — the promise of a fresh start, renewal, and a desire for things to be better than the year before. While I wish that for each of us, I can’t help but feel that we have to do more than just hope; we have to look to ourselves for change. Policing has taken a hit in the public eye for some time now and we know that there is a significant lack of trust by those we are sworn to protect. Add to this the fact that we’re having to maintain order during a time when Americans are divided and are exhibiting an extraordinary mistrust of one another. There’s a lot of anger and rage these days — on airplanes, in public gather - ings, on social media. It’s made me think a lot about kindness. It is something we seem to have lost sight of. I think about the lesson of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. When confronted with someone of a dif - ferent religion and culture who was in need, the Samaritan put aside his differences to help the man. He did not think about the man’s beliefs or what station in life the man held—he just saw a person in need of help. Similarly, as law enforcement officers, we are called upon to put others first. We are trained to think about how our actions affect others. We are required to be proactive, provide support, and do good. But more often than not, our jobs demand that we also be aggressive, physical and skeptical. The do-good part of our jobs can get lost. The ever-increasing daily demands on our time suggest that we operate in a high-speed, low-drag environment. Sometimes we get so focused on the day-to-day demands of the job that we forget why we got into law enforcement to begin with. We tend to forget one of God’s greatest requests — that we give back that which has been given to us. We are asked to reach out and help the needy and show mercy on the poor and down - trodden. Be good to our neighbor, our parents, brothers and sisters. Keep His Word holy and never forget that He is with us at all times. Surely we cannot help but be kinder if we remember these basic principles. I was looking through my notes recently from an FBINAA 2020 Virtual Webinar about leadership and noticed that speaker after speaker cited community mistrust as one of the most press - ing problems facing law enforcement today. Their solutions? Many of them involve leading with kindness: • Win the hearts and minds of citizens • The court of public opinion matters • Invite community organizations to the table for discussions • Demonstrate compassion to others • Focus on youth programs • Build relationships • Commit resources to the needs of the community • Know mental health, school, and faith-based resources • Reduce fear and empower the community

Communities across this great nation are in need of our com- mitment to do good work, serve with dignity and compassion, and to right the wrongs so that others will feel safe. For us to unite as one we must show a true and honest attempt to make good our promise to help everyone—even those who do not trust us. We will make mistakes along the way, but we need to keep trying. I am reminded of the Scripture of Luke 10: 25-37 and that the highest reward of altruism is when we do something good for someone else without any expectation of reward or promise. As we think about ways to heal our relationship with the commu - nity, will we lead with kindness? Can we give of ourselves to strangers without expectation of recognition? Can we reach out to the elderly, the infirmed and homeless as well as our neighbors, friends and families to let them know we’re there for them? According to a 2006 study, police personnel who aspire for a sense of professionalism also aspire for high ideas, which includes altruism as well as honor and integrity, respect, excel - lence, caring, compassion, communication, leadership, responsi- bility and accountability. It’s often times the little things we give that make a differ - ence to someone or have an impact on others. Holding fundrais- ers for local charities, outdoor events to help the elderly, mailing thoughtful greeting cards to people who are homebound or disabled, helping food banks, creating webinars for the com - munity on safety issues — what more can we give of ourselves for our communities? I think the answer is, plenty. And in keeping with our need to think of others, let us also take a moment to silently honor the 482 law enforcement of - ficers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in 2021. We pray for their families, and that their memories will live forever. We ask God to bring them comfort and peace knowing they gave their all to the highest calling of being a protector of the people. According to the Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, 323 of those police officers died from COVID-related illness in 2021. We pray that 2022 will bring hope and safety to the thou - sands of officers who are faced with this hidden enemy and that they will be protected and supported as they are our first line of defense.

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