National Police Week: Thank you for your service

The familiar motto that adorns many law enforcement vehicles, “to protect and serve”, is more than words for many of those in the profession.

It’s a creed they live by.

This week — Sunday, May 12, through Saturday, May 18 — is National Police Week, a time to thank those officers who perform many roles. They maintain order, sometimes in the midst of chaos. They direct and guide. They stand between the law-abiding and those who flout the rules.

Their jobs may resemble each other, no matter if they are a patrol officer or a federal undercover agent trying to crack a drug-smuggling ring based in Central America, but they each have their own story. Why did they want to be a law enforcement officer? How does the job allow them to serve their community? What part of their background and experience helps them help other officers get better at what they do?

Our Thursday, June 13, issue will highlight several officers from the area and answers some of those questions.

We talked to:

Deputy Marc Rivas of Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office. Originally from Puerto Rico, Rivas uses his bilingual skills to communicate with inmates and Spanish-speaking community members.

David Ruebel, a patrol officer with Chaffee Police Department. He especially enjoys mentoring children and helping them stay on the correct path.

Jackson Police Department Lt. Jason Wilhelm. His years of experience helps him nurture and train other officers as they make their way.

Those officers exemplify service to their communities and their comrades, and their work is making Southeast Missouri a better place.

The same goes for law enforcement officers all over the country. They go to work each day not knowing what lies ahead but doing so with courage and a servant’s heart.

On behalf of those these officers, serve, thank you.

We know your job is difficult — stressful, ever-changing and potentially dangerous with every interaction.

We trust your training and character see you through whatever comes your way.

Our wish for all of you — stay safe.