Less than 48 hours after fallen Mount Holly Police Officer Tyler Herndon was laid to rest, the Charlotte metro area sees another killed in the line of duty. Concord Police officer Jason Shuping was another one to go to work and not return back home. Another senseless and tragic killing that didn’t have to happen days before Christmas. He was 25.
Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day. They are the first to show up when needed and some of the most selfless people you’ll ever meet. And yet, people are quick to treat them with such disrespect due to “a few bad apples.”
I am here to tell you Herndon and Shuping were heroes. They paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. How many people can say that? Knowing that every time you put on a uniform you’ll likely become public enemy number one, but you wear the blue with honor and without hesitation. All while hearing how they should be “defunded” and no better than pigs.
There is no other place in the world where police are treated like this. So often the same officers who fight crime on our streets were the ones who defended our country overseas. The brave men and women of our military trade in one uniform for another with a similar objective in mind– protect and serve. A new generation of cops, many of whom entered service during a post-9/11 era. Most are now experiencing some of these things for the first time.
Our police deserve to be honored again. Charlotte and the surrounding areas need to come together and recognize these citizens are the ones who make our community great. And we need to get back to treating these people like they’re a vital part of our society. We’ve got a long way to go before that happens, but it’s time to start. If you see a police officer during this holiday season, a simple thank you goes a long way.
We’ll never truly know what scene they came from or what they’re about to witness. We also don’t know the family they’re leaving behind to protest us.