When Alex Maddox watched the final bodycam footage of her husband, Locust Grove Police Officer Chase Maddox, rushing into a situation that would prove fatal, she told a WSB-TV reporter, “To watch that be displayed, and to know that without him more people would be dead … it made me proud. It made me very proud to be his wife. It made me very proud to even know Chase Maddox.”
Four days after Officer Maddox was killed in the line of duty, Alex gave birth to their second child.
Every day, law enforcement officials like Officer Maddox stand on the front line against crime to keep the rest of us safe. They provide us with the peace of mind that comes from knowing our children, our spouses, our loved ones can move safely through our own neighborhoods. They risk their own lives to protect ours. They risk everything to stand tall as part of that “thin blue line” which stands between order and chaos, safety and tragedy.
And Officer Maddox was not the only one to pay the ultimate price last year. Five other Georgia law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2018: Officer Anthony Christie, Chief Frank McClelland, Officer Antwan Toney, Officer Edgar Flores. Officer Michael Smith was killed just over a week ago. A few days after Christmas.
It’s easy to take for granted the miracle that you can pick up a phone any time of the day or night and one of America’s bravest will be ready to serve and protect you at any cost. When others rush away from danger, they’re the ones who rush toward it. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to these exceptional men and women.
Unfortunately, we fail them far too often. When anti-police sentiment is perpetuated by the media and glorified by pop culture, it makes the men and women who protect and serve our neighborhoods less safe. It would be a tremendous failure of our national character if these men and women who put their lives at risk for strangers every single day couldn’t count on us to protect them. That’s why it’s important on this Law Enforcement Appreciation Day that we come together to fight back against anti-police sentiment by putting our support for our men and women in blue on full display. An act as simple as changing the profile picture on your social media page can go a long way toward spreading our thanks wide enough that it reaches every law enforcement official in the United States. Today, let’s sound a national cheer that to tell them, “we see the work you’re doing, we know what you’re risking, and we couldn’t be more thankful.”
(As seen in the Union Recorder 01/09/19)