Dear Officer X,

I write this letter with heartache and sadness for your plight. When I met you Wednesday night, and you described to me how difficult it is to be a cop in this day and age and how your hands are tied at every turn, it really resonated with me. When you explained how it felt to be someone who always dreamed of being a cop because it was the family tradition and because you like to help people, and then to be spat on, maligned, and mocked in the streets, I felt your pain.

I could see that you were a good guy who is really dedicated to his field — the field that is nothing like it was when you started. You and your brothers and sisters are still the brave, dedicated, civic-minded people that I always knew that you were. Although your hands are tied today and the world is filled with contradictions, I want you to know there are those of us out there, if not most of us, who completely understand why your job is so difficult and what kind of person you are.

When we were little, my generation, we always felt safety and security when we saw a policeman on the street. But in this generation, where the prevailing wisdom is that it is only the government that can protect and serve, it was only a matter of time before your position was undermined and your importance underestimated. And while it’s true that some of your brothers and sisters in blue have used their power in a matter inconsistent with their job description, I know in my heart that most of you are brave and benevolent, and that it is social media and the hoodlums of society who are dictating this new narrative about you and your profession.

I also feel that there is a possibility for the pendulum to swing back once people realize that they really do need you. I hope it will happen in my generation but if not, I pray that it will in the next for my kids and my grandkids. But in the meantime, Officer X, stay strong and please know that you have my respect and admiration for the job you do and you will always have my gratitude as well as that of many, if not most, of my peers. Stand strong. This too, shall pass.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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