Polls have closed, but in some states and locales, the ballot-counting continues.
2020 elections results are emerging, their numbers are being reported.
In an appreciable number of instances they're even being questioned — by pollsters, politicians, experts, academics, and other "talking heads."
Do their observations and comments inadvertently stoke and incite anger?
Meanwhile our nation's city administrations, inclusive of their law enforcement arms, are hoping for the best,while preparing for the worst.
America's law enforcement is readying itself for protests, civil unrest, riots, and looting.
Many agencies have made the decision to not allow officers to take the days off following the election — they're anxious over manpower.
Business and shops from Rodeo Drive to New York have boarded up their doors and windows.
The tangible fear of an impending, violent tantrum from children who just didn’t get their way is beyond real and is being felt nationally.
As officers prepare themselves tactically for days of potential unrest, unsung heroes are left worrying. The spouses and family members of law enforcement are often forgotten, but no less deserving of our gratitude. As their officer’s leave for shift on election night and the days after, memories from this past summer will re-emerge.
Such visions are inevitably filled with worry, fear, sadness, and anger.
Worry—that their officer may be injured or worse, murdered.
Fear—for their officer’s safety, and hopes that they could just quit. Some even fearing for their own safety for backlash if their officer is forced to make the difficult decision to take another’s life.
Sadness and grief—for the loss of the perception from a small minority with a loud voice, that law enforcement was once a respectable career.
Anger—towards those who fail to see the humans behind the badge.
Police families are no stranger to sleepless nights, worried, waiting and hoping that their officer makes it home safely. They might play the role of a single parent, accompanying children to baseball games and ballet recitals, while their officer works. They may sacrifice celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 so they can spend the holiday as a family.
They are there to wipe tears, listen and often, sit in silent support.
In many major metropolitan areas, the families of officers must confront additional fears.
Anti-police thugs have gathered information on officers and their families.
Wives have received threats of sexual assault. Homes have been targeted with bricks through windows. Children, once proud of their police parent, are reluctant to carry a lunchbox or water bottle with a thin blue line flag.
Families are removing that flag from their vehicles and homes, in fear of a targeted attack.
Family members of law enforcement receive backlash and criticism.
Yes, they experience grief, shame, and anger.
And yes, they fight, just as their officer’s do — for our safety.
Yet, they don't receive the same praise and thanks we extend to their officers.
As you drive to work, go out to dinner, or turn on the news after this election and notice our law enforcement, take a moment and consider their loved ones, recognize their sacrifice, and say a powerful prayer of gratitude.
Dr. Katherine Kuhlman is a police and clinical psychologist based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has spent her career helping law enforcement and other first responders throughout their careers, including debriefings following officer-involved shootings, suicides, and mass casualty incidents. She is a national speaker on officer wellness and trauma. Dr. Kuhlman an expert in the field of behavioral threat assessment and targeted violence. She serves as an Executive Board Member for the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence. Read Dr. Katherine Kuhlman's Reports — More Here.
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