Growing up I always knew I wanted to work in the criminal justice field in some capacity. The older I got the more I thought I wanted to be an officer. Then, you know, life happened and I never became an officer for one reason or another. Fast forward to today and I’m a staff assistant for the criminal investigations division of a police department. To be clear, I am a civilian.

In the 12 years that I have lived in Orlando, or in my 30 years of life for that matter, the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub which killed 49 people affected me differently than any other and continues to every day. Just like everyone else, I could not escape the news, the media, the Facebook status’, the Instagram posts. But even worse than all that, I truly couldn’t escape it because although I could shut off the TV, leave my phone turned off, not pick up a newspaper, I still had to go to work. {It should be noted that I do not work for the Orlando Police Department and I cannot disclose the department that I work for.}

Ever since the Pulse shooting, it seems that almost every week we are hearing of another tragedy. Just when the officers think it’s time to remove their mourning bands, tragedy strikes again. And so they continue to wear their bands. I see them come to work defeated, sad, tired, scared, and so many other emotions that I’m not quite sure I could put into words for them. I know the last few weeks have had many officers all over the country questioning their profession. Can you really blame them? But one thing is for sure that those in the communities that support law enforcement have come out in full force.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.


It’s as simple as a “thank you for what you do,” bringing water and snacks to various stations, sending hand written cards from kids and adults for all to read, words of encouragement to know that although it’s a rough time, their good actions do not go unnoticed. Know that underneath the uniform and badge they are human too. They bleed the way we do. They cry the same way we do. They hurt and suffer the same way we do. They are brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends and so much more.


My officers were there when I had nothing and watched me rebuild my life. They are the ones that have encouraged me, loved me unconditionally, lectured me when I needed it most and have watched over me as their own family.

I have seen the community come together in ways I never even thought possible. I have seen hugs given in random places to random people. I have seen posters go up in support of law enforcement. I have heard prayers being whispered to officers by passerby’s. And just when I think I’ve seen it all, someone else continues to amaze me by their actions. I pray that my daughter and unborn child know a life where love wins.

Remember in these dark times we are facing, no matter what the situation “love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.” -Lin-Manuel Miranda


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