This episode is a quick shout out to those who were in uniform this 4th of July, 2016. Whether you were in camos, plainclothes, or polyester with a badge, thank you for protecting our freedom.
As my family and friends celebrated Independence Day this year, I asked them to answer the following question: What do you love about America? The answers varied from person to person and were surprisingly specific to each one's interests and life experiences. Here are a few examples:
"It is a place of hope, in particular it is a place of hope for me to raise my children. It is a place of opportunity, to be able to get better and grow as individuals and make a difference. There are opportunities for education and entrepreneuring... a place to flourish and thrive that's not restrictive."
Police Academy is a case in point. This show exists solely because I want to make a difference. There are no promises I will succeed, only the promise that I will sink or swim with the rest; and for that I am grateful.
"I really appreciate our governments ability to manage garbage collection, water and electricity and for it to be efficient and effective. There's no other place like the United States when it comes to 24 hours electricity and trash removal."
A seemingly small thing but take it from someone who's been a few places, we do keep things relatively clean and reliable.
"I love America because I can drive wherever I want to whenever I want to... as long as my car has gas."
Me too, and as the next clip suggests, there's plenty to explore.
My favorite thing about America is our landscapes. The fact that you can go from the ocean to the mountains to the plains to the deserts; everywhere and it's all in one place and it's freaking awesome!"
Freakin awesome is right! Despite popular belief, even Nebraska is more than just corn and cows. We even have a waterfall! Who knew?!
"I love America because of all the different types of cuisines that are available."
We do love our food.
"The new Pinterest recipes."
Did I mention food? Which reminds me, I once listened to an arrogant British man talking down to a bunch of high school soccer players. Sitting in a place of almost unquestioned authority (he was British, so we assumed he was the best soccer player in our midst) he began mocking our giant portion sizes and our big fridges full of leftovers. Now I can look back and see this man was simply jealous. Twice the portion for half the price. God bless America!
What do you love about America? Just for fun, tweet an answer @PoliceAcademyPC.
The 4th of July was my favorite holiday to work as an officer. At night, I had the best seat in the city, rolling around as the sky was lit with millions of dollars of patriotic pyrotechnics. Glad I wasn't literally burning my own cash, I always enjoyed the show.
But while night shift provided great entertainment, day shift was even better. Rolling through neighborhoods with the windows down, I always found a much needed reminder of a very important fact, a fact that, if you're not careful, a police officer will soon forget. As I went through college, my world was full of nice, law abiding people who generally had good things to say about the police. At that early stage in life, I was one of the silent majority, those of us in society who think the police are a net positive and doing their best. I remember the warnings given by several professors about how our perceptions would change; how police officers often lose sight of the truth that a majority of society actually does appreciate what they do.
I didn't think it would happen to me, but not long into my career, I realized I had allowed myself to begin believing what I saw, not what I knew. When a majority of the people you meet hate your guts and aren't afraid to tell you, it takes a toll. I knew there were people out there who supported us and appreciated our sacrifice, but I never saw them; except for one very notable exception: the 4th of July.
For one day, the good people of my city, those I rarely ever met face to face (unless of course I pulled them over) were out in force. I loved driving every street in my district so I could give them a warm smile and a wave. I'm sure my presence made some feel uneasy, maybe they thought I was on "illegal firework patrol". Haha, as if I gave a rats tail about that. No; I was there to see the fruits of my labor, to remind myself that the peace and tranquility I provided, the freedom I protected, was worth it. The laughing children, smiling parents and smell of barbecue all proved to me that it was, and then some.
Whatever you love about America and however you choose to enjoy your freedom, please remember those who make it possible. Even better, let them know you appreciate their service. A smile, a wave or even a hug say more than words can express.
Do Good || Be Strong || Fear Nothing
And God Bless America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave!