Meet the Team (#1 of a 5 part series)
Updated: Jan 10, 2020
My why, unbeknownst to me, started with the loss of Detective Kevin Rice, his son entangled in my memories as a former classmate. It would be 16 years before I actually understood all of it. While I didn’t understand then, what his death really meant or how it would tie into my life I still grew up with a deep appreciation and respect for law enforcement.
Eight short years later I fell in love. I fell in love with a man who swept me off my feet because he is a good man. He is kind, honest, and intelligent. He loves me, he provides for me and he encourages me. I fell in love with a man who wears a uniform and a badge. I didn’t seek that out, I did not choose the long nights, the call outs, the fear when texts go unanswered. I did not sign up to parent my children alone most days. To keep my house quiet while daddy sleeps. To listen to stories at the dinner table that the rest of the world shields themselves from but we know is a reality in our very own backyards.
I didn’t sign up to share him.
You see, I don’t get all of him. My children don’t get all of him. We share him with the community. He is a smart man, I promise you. He could do other jobs. We share him with the community. There are many just like him, most are like him. Good men who want to come home to their families. At some point society overall forgot that the police are there to serve and protect, and we need to work on bridging this gap - not making it wider with pride and hateful rhetoric. If we can’t agree that the police are there to serve and protect and we should raise their morale then we really will have fewer and fewer good police officers, because families like mine? We won’t be able to continue to give the communities our gift. We will keep them to ourselves.
This is why BLUE 815 is important. The morale of our officers is important. The community is important. When the community works together to support our officers, it undoubtedly raises their morale. Seeing the goodness that came out of every corner of Rockford after Officer Cox’s death, and how the community responded with love, gave our officers more support than I can begin to explain. BLUE 815 works to make that the story, the new normal.
Lauri Gesner, BLUE 815 Vice-Chair
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works"
**Note - the "Meet the Team" series was edited down to a 4 part series vs. a 5 part.