“Are you a Trump supporter?”
As a police officer, I get asked that a lot these days. Why? I think it has something to do with the constant controversies surrounding the president we see on a day-to-day basis. The assumption is: He’s a cop. He probably believed in Trump at the start, but what about now?
It’s an understandable question. But it’s also, I think, the wrong one. Truth is, I started out with a few doubts about the president. I’m a member of the Mormon faith, and it’s no secret that Mormons, unlike Evangelicals, did not come out in force at the polls for this president.
I work long days and some of them contain way more drama than the average human being could possibly ask for. I don’t come home hungry to watch a lot of confusion, argument, and rancor on the TV. Watching a kid’s show on Netflix with my family suits me a lot better.
At the same time, I do keep up with the issues, and when it comes to President Trump, I keep my attention focused on what having President Trump as has done for the people I know best: Police officers and the people they try every single day to protect.
You might think now’s the moment when I’m going to segue into a discussion of firearms. I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and missed being present at the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017 by a lucky accident. My wife Brittany and I were going to go to that concert, but at the last minute we decided to leave Las Vegas and travel to California a day early rather than attend the concert. It’s a decision that I’m both grateful for (what if Brittany had been injured or killed by the shooter?) and guilty about (what if I’d have been able to help bring some of the victims to safety?).
But the real issue I think about our current president is what he’s done for police officers. Again and again, amid all the mess and confusion of the issues, I’ve seen a brave man who has consistently gone out of his way to express his gratitude for police officers. To express sympathy for the dangers they face and respect for the choice made by every man and woman who has opted to join law enforcement.
Police officers can be a pretty beleaguered bunch these days — sadly in part because some cops have chosen to behave badly and to dishonor the badge they wear.
But most cops are good people. And above all brave people. And — maybe most important — humble people. Most cops shun the spotlight. Most cops don’t want to bask in glory after doing something heroic. Most cops don’t always enjoy their job, but even when they hate it, they love it, because it’s a job that allows them to be a force for good.
Whatever else you may have to say about President Trump, I feel he understands that. When I see him congratulating a cop on a job well done, all the controversy drops away, and I see a guy who is expressing an emotion he truly and honestly feels:
It’s an emotion that cops today need, whether they’ll tell you so or not. And like I said, a lot probably won’t. But I’m not afraid to, nor am I afraid to say thanks to the president for what he’s had to say to the men and women of law enforcement. They’re honest words. And the people he’s said them to deserve to hear them.
The negativity our president gets is disturbing, especially when we all should stand in solidarity. But as a full-time police officer in Utah and a writer I felt it was the right thing to do to simply say:
Tyler Beddoes was born in Provo, Utah. He studied criminal justice and journalism at Utah Valley University. He is a part-time writer and a full-time police officer in Utah. He has been recognized by the U.S. Congress and the state of Utah for his police service. He currently resides in St. George, Utah, with his wife Brittany and their three children. He is the co-author of two books — “Proof Of Angels” and “Left Standing.”