Initiative is a powerful, driving force in every aspect of life. Watching as others put action behind ideas to serve or honor others is inspiring. Earlier this week, the wives of area law enforcement officers presented “Light the Night”. This event was a way for the community to say thank you to those currently serving and honor those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

I have been very adamant in the past about my feelings regarding law enforcement officers. Men and women who go to work armed on a daily basis to protect our communities and families deserve our respect. These are folks who are willing to give their lives to protect others they may not even know. That, my friends is pure courage and has earned each of them the right to be referred to as “hero”.

Just like with everything else in life, there is good and there is bad. That is a given. Again, it is extremely ignorant to pigeonhole an entire group based on the acts of the minority.

To revisit, are there those who are or were once in law enforcement who have made mistakes, committed atrocities and some who belong in jail? Absolutely. However, the aforementioned are not an accurate representation of law enforcement as a whole.

As I sit here, I wonder how “haters” would feel if they were constantly judged by the choices of family members or friends. I am going to assume it would be frustrating to be looked down upon by a variable you have no control over. But hey, that is the society we live in today.

Despite the back biting and unwarranted attitudes, these officers of the law continue to do what they do best — protect and serve. It is hard to imagine what could happen, just in Brown County, if every officer from every agency said “I’m done. I’ve had enough.” I can tell you what would happen. There would be absolute chaos, no order, crime stats would jump off the chart and the community would live in constant fear. So, if you belong to the “I hate cops” club, stick to your convictions, and the next time you are in need of an officer, don’t call 911.

Back to “Light the Night.” The sight was amazing. Somewhere around 500 people, with some traveling long distances, converged upon Depot plaza to pay their respects to the men and women in blue.

Guest speakers were on hand to remind us of the daily sacrifice officers make. It is prudent to remember that officers are not the only ones making a sacrifice when they go on shift. Families are also making a sacrifice. And for those family members who lost a loved one who protects and serves my family, I just want you to know that I am grateful for your loved one who was willing to sacrifice their life for me.

Our law enforcement and their families deserve our respect and more importantly our prayers. I believe the “Light the Night” event opened the eyes of many in attendance and more importantly, showed our local officers what they mean to all of us.

To Caitlyn, Jill and the others who organized “Light the Night”— job well done. My prayer is that this event not only continues, but continues to grow.


Rick Phelps is the news director at KOXE-KBWD radio and a former staff writer for the Brownwood Bulletin. Comments may be emailed to