I love the Facebook memories. And I especially love that it shows us the posts we share.
I was scrolling through mine the other night, and one post popped up that had me laughing and smiling and giggling in a way I haven’t in quite some time.
How many of you remember the Lip Sync Battles between different police departments? Back in 2018? It started off as a simple little thing, officers recording themselves in their cruisers while lip syncing.
And then remember what happened? The battles went viral and became legit video productions! I still can’t listen to Journey’s “Lights” without imagining those SF officers riding across the Bay Bridge on their motorcycles, or the ones outside ATT Park! >D
But the one that popped up for me on my memories was even more incredible and still, two years later, I can’t help but laugh and remember whenever Bruno Mars comes on the radio. It was the Norfolk Police Department, and they teamed up with fire services and EMS to do a super fun and entertaining collaboration for the lip sync battle.
I still laugh thinking about that officer holding his little newborn while dancing at the end! It was such a sweet representation of the culture, the family, the fun, the support, all wrapped up into the 4.5 minutes of Uptown Funk.
That video made me proud to be part of the blue family. Because it showcased exactly what makes us so unique!
In 2018, people loved the videos! And the mainstream media loved the videos, laughing as they watched and shared them on air, (even CNN, if you can believe it!).
How the world has changed.
Now, law enforcement are the villains. According to those same people who laughed at and shared the videos. No longer are we people, normal people, with families, who love music and love to have fun.
But here you are. Still human, still a person. Still loving music. Still wanting to have fun. Still wanting to make a difference and connect with the community you serve.
So I decided to reach out to some folks I know who have served in law enforcement for decades, before Ferguson and Baltimore, before the Rodney King riots.
I wanted to know WHY.
Why did they keep doing the job? How did they move past those atrocities and the hatred toward law enforcement? How did they keep the hate from getting to them? Why didn’t they quit?
Over the next little while, I will share some posts and videos from some of these folks. But I do want to share the one thing that was overwhelming in the responses to my questions.
Know your WHY.
Think about WHY you do this job. Why do you put on that vest every day? Why do you wear the patches and the gear? Why do you go to every call, no matter the risks?
Is it because you born into a blue family? A family of service? Is it because you like putting criminals in jail? Is it because of the pay? The benefits? Or is it something entirely different?
Being a LEO is a calling. How did it become your calling?
That is my challenge to you. Figure out your why. It can be a catch phrase. It can be short and sweet or long and detailed.
Start with knowing it. Then take it with you, one step at a time.
I can't wait to share more encouragement from seasoned officers with you! I hope you find their words even more insightful and impactful than I did.
Take care, friends!
Alisha Sweyd, LMFT