Five Ways to Encourage Local Law Enforcement by Janice Cantore

I became a sworn police officer in 1987. A large portion of the academy was dedicated to self-defense, to making us green recruits aware that there was danger out there in the world, and often we would deal with people who would want to do us harm. And once we were in the field, a recruit failing to apply sound officer safety tactics could and would be fired.

I survived training, and over the course of my career I saw just how violent the world could be. Sometimes, even when we were there to help, the hostility was palpable. One time while handling a fatal traffic accident, we had to deal with a riot. The driver who died in the crash—his fault, speed and narcotics—was a known gang member. Word spread fast that he’d been killed, and because investigating a fatal traffic accident is time-consuming, and bodies are often not removed right away, especially if there are injured, living victims to deal with, family members had time to show up at the scene. Then gang members began arriving, harassing the paramedics, and before long we had a full-blown riot. All the anger because of the death was directed at the police, who had nothing to do with the crash and were simply trying to pick up the pieces.

Today sometimes I think that kind of hostility has expanded exponentially. Times have been tough on law enforcement. There is so much hostility in the world toward them lately. Police officers need the support of the community.

Five suggestions for ways to provide support to your local law enforcement:
  1. Pray. First responders need prayer. They deal with the toughest aspects of society, the hardest scenes, the rawest emotions.
  2. If you have a positive contact with an officer, write a letter, either to his or her department or to the local paper, to give him or her the kudos they deserve.
  3. If possible, take a ride-along with a local officer. You will see firsthand the world they work in and maybe come to understand them a little better.
  4. When something controversial happens—a shooting, for example—don’t rush to judgment. Wait for the facts to come in before forming a conclusion. We all deserve the benefit of the doubt, to be innocent until proven guilty.
  5. Pray. I firmly believe that this is first and last best thing you can do for law enforcement. Prayer changes things.

Law enforcement is a difficult profession, and it certainly isn’t getting any easier. For an officer on patrol, a shift can go from boring and routine to life threatening and dangerous in the blink of an eye. At the beginning of every shift, a cop’s most fervent wish is that it’s uneventful and they are able to return safely to their family at end of watch. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


janice cantoreJanice Cantore is a police officer turned writer. She retired from the Long Beach (California) Police Department after twenty-two years—sixteen in uniform, six as a noncareer employee. She is currently writing romantic suspense for Tyndale House, and her upcoming release, Lethal Target, second in the Line of Duty series, following Crisis Shot, is set in a small town in Oregon.

lethal target