The media needs to wake up and support cops (Opinion)
How often do we see an out-of-context video disparaging cops for doing their jobs? How often do you hear talk show hosts and TV talking heads acting as if the criminals and the gangsters are moral equivalents of the brave men and women wearing the uniform and keeping our communities safe?
Cops are the foundation of our communities. Law Enforcement Officers at all levels, Corrections, Municipal, State, Federal, Parks, you name it and they all have one thing in common: a calling to serve the public good and a desire to get home to their families at the end of their shift.
On Thursday night my wife Jodi and I were honored to appear at two important events happening in the Garden State.
The first was a conference of homicide investigators from around the nation led by my friend NJ State Police Detective Joe Itri. Cops from around the country convene for training, best practices and to share info and experience. It's always a pleasure to interact and meet with these heroes and discuss the role of the media actually reporting truth instead of pushing a false narrative to hurt cops.
A special thank you is in order to the commander of the New Jersey State Police, Col. Patrick Callahan who is always on hand to support his outstanding members. He's one of the strongest and most competent leaders in law enforcement and gets well deserved respect from the troops.
On a side note, my speech was interrupted by none other than Jersey Joe Piscopo, who showed up to entertain the group at the dinner later that evening. But if you're gonna be interrupted, it may as well be by the iconic SNL cast member who is a great patriot and solid support of Law Enforcement.
One of the most impactful conversations Jodi and I had at the event was with the inspirational hero, Officer Josh Vadell from the Atlantic City PD. You may remember that Josh was shot in the head on a call in AC and survived. His tale of survival and perseverance is something that should and will be shared with our audience soon. Stay tuned for that.
We ended the night with an appearance at the annual Make-A-WIsh New Jersey Gala held at the Samuel and Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place in Monroe NJ. The 'Wishing Castle' is literally a castle designed by Disney Imagineers. It's incredible and offers children afflicted with terrible medical conditions to make a wish and have it granted.
Our friend Tom Weatherall is the CEO of Make-A-Wish NJ and he is arguably one of the most outstanding hosts, speakers, leaders and genuinely good guys that I've met on my journey. What a night.
One of the highlights for me and Jodi was watching our friend Megan Crowley, now a college graduate from Notre Dame, give a speech that brought down the house. This was as girl who wasn't supposed to live into her teens, now preparing for graduate school. She and my daughter Elizabeth have been good friends for many years and getting to know Megan over those years, we see a young, powerful woman with the determination of ten champions. She has a will to live and have a full life, and as a 'Wish Kid" back when she was five, she's done everything to give back to the group that helped her. Unfortunately for our friend John, Megan's Dad, he had to follow her speech with his address to the group!
I was honored to play a small role as an 8 year old boy, Tyler, was granted his wish of becoming a Power Ranger. And thanks to the Make-A-Wish team, Tom and the good folks at Hasbro, He is now officially a Power Ranger, his color is new, the Orange Ranger who will be featured in an upcoming comic book ad unveiled at Comic Con in Las Vegas.
I played the role of the reporter live on the scene as Tyler rounded up the 'bad guys' who were disrupting the Gala. What struck me is this is a sick little boy who idolizes the champions of good in the battle with evil. Similar to the founding of the Make A Wish organization stemming from the first wish of another little boy in Arizona, Chris Greicius. Chris wanted to be a cop and thanks to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, he became a cop, the first and only honorary member of the Arizona DPS.
As I told the cops at the earlier event, a majority of America is with them. They know that on the other end of a 9-11 call isn't going to be a snarky media personality, it's not gonna be a social justice warrior, it's certainly not gonna be a lawyer with the ACLU, it's gonna be a cop. A cop who will be there to protect, serve and sometimes even give their life for the public good.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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