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Baxter County Patrol Vehicle

The Thin Blue Line


The thin blue line was bent but not broken. What do I mean? What is the thin blue line?

     The thin blue line is a symbol that represents our law enforcement who stand between good and evil. No doubt you have seen signs, stickers or license plates that have the blue line in the middle with either white or black above and below. The blue represents law enforcement, and it is thin because there are so few law enforcement personnel who are out there to protect you and I against those that desire to do us wrong or harm us. The code of law enforcement is to protect and to serve, even if it means laying down your life to protect those you are sworn to protect.

     This week the thin blue line was bent when two West Memphis Police Officers, Sgt. Brandon Paudert and Officer Bill Evans, were shot and killed. Crittenden County Sheriff, Dick Busby and his Chief Deputy W. A. Wren were shot and critically injured. The two suspects, who were father and son, opened fire with AK47s after a routine traffic stop near I-40 in West Memphis, Arkansas.

     Law Enforcement is like a brotherhood. The men and women who put on the badge every day do so not because of the money, the pride or prestige. The pay is usually poor, and the hours are long and unpredictable. They put on the badge to protect you and me. They put on the badge to make a difference. They have courage. It is not that are unafraid, because courage is not the absence of fear, rather the conquest of fear. Reacting and doing whatever it takes in the face of danger. Officers run toward danger, to put themselves in harm's way so you can run away from it.

     Once of most horrifying sounds is when that voice comes across the radio saying ‘Officer Down' it sends a cold chill down the spine of every person who wears a badge, and down the spine of all their families and loved ones. When an officer dies in the line of duty, it brings a stark realization that it could be their family member next.

     I often ask that you say a prayer for the men and women who wear the badge, but today I am asking you stop for a moment, right where you are when you read this, and say a prayer for the families of these brave men and women. These families didn't get to choose their loved one's professions. They don't get to pick their hours, nor do they get to say no when their loved ones are called out in the middle of the night to an unknown. They worry every time their loved one leaves wondering if they will come home at the end of their shift. Their heart skips a beat when they hear the siren, or panic when the doorbell rings. No doubt the families of these two brave officers watched their loved ones go to work just like every other day. But that day was different. Sgt. Paudert leaves behind a wife and three children, two sons and a daughter. Officer Evans leaves behind a fiancée and two boys.

     The thin blue line gets bent every time an officer dies. We are one. We are strong. We may bend but we will not break. That thin blue line is scarred from the many who have died keeping the evil at bay. The thin blue line may stretch, but it will never be broken. It will never be broken because of those men and women who have the courage to stand up in the face of danger and put their lives on the line every day, for you, and for me.

Sheriff John Montgomery

I saw a cop today
he had a tear in his eye
a painful expression
for what I don't know why
He seem distant, rude and bottled up inside
You see I didn't know that his brother had died
a wife two kids and a family besides
a family whose husband and father left behind
A man who did not tremble
who did not run or did not hide
A true hero to us all
most not knowing at all the why
but to that officer
with the tear in his eye
an officer, a brother, a friend had died