May is Law Enforcement Appreciation Month and this week is Police Appreciation Week — an opportunity to reflect on the enormous service and sacrifice that members of law enforcement give our nation and our communities 365 days a year.
Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, a Catholic priest in Indian Land, South Carolina, regularly ministers to local law enforcement officers. He told Fox News Digital that Americans need to take the time to thank the men and women who stand ready to help others at a moment’s notice.
Kirby, who is host of the daily devotional “Morning Offering with Father Kirby,” said via email that law enforcement members are “brave souls who put their lives on the line to protect and serve the common good of society.”
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“In a healthy society, police officers are shown civic reverence and admiration,” said Fr. Kirby.
He’s interacted with law enforcement by hearing the confessions of members of an undercover narcotics unit in South Carolina.
“Our police officers are the best of us. They are society’s heroes as they champion what is right and good among us.”
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He added that as “judges who wear black robes and are addressed by the title ‘Your Honor,’” so police officers “wear public uniforms” and are addressed by titles such as “Officer.”
“These distinctions are given to them because they represent something greater than themselves,” he said.
“It is an exaggeration to claim systemic racism in the [nationwide] police force.”
Kirby said that such claims are made “to discredit the moral authority of our police officers” and to “justify a growing contempt” for our men and women on the police force.
“It is important for houses of worship to be places of respect and affirmation to our police officers,” said Fr. Kirby of South Carolina, host of the daily devotional “Morning Offering with Father Kirby.” (iStock)
“As Christians, we honor the work of police officers as a vocation given to them by God,” Fr. Kirby underscored.
“They exercise an authority given by God and delegated to them by society.”
Fr. Kirby noted that “if and when” authority is abused by police officers, “the nobility of their vocation” makes them the first to accuse wrongdoing within their own ranks, calling for discipline.
“It is praiseworthy when citizens express their gratitude to police officers and show them their esteem,” said Fr. Kirby.
The “vast majority” of police officers are “good and noble men and women who have answered a call to serve,” said a Catholic priest in South Carolina who has ministered to law enforcement groups. (iStock)
He also said, “Any assault on a police officer is an assault on the common good. Any attack on a police officer is an attack against a representative of law and order.”
He continued, “It is an attack on society itself.”
The South Carolina priest said that this week, “We also remember and grieve the loss of those police officers who died in line of duty.”
National Police Week draws between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees, Policeweek.org notes, with attendees coming “from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world.”