Sometimes a Picture Really is Worth a Thousand Words: What Law Enforcement Officers Can Learn from Lt. Aaron Allan

News reports across the nation are talking about the recent line-of-duty death of Southport, Indiana Police Lt. Aaron Allan.  Much of his legacy was captured in one photograph taken hours before he was shot and killed.

Aaron Allan

In Memoriam Lt. Aaron Allan (Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow)

This is an incredibly tragic story with some very valuable lessons for law-enforcement officers, so don’t miss this.

See FOX 59 – Photo shows Southport officer walking son to bus on first day of Kindergarten hours before he was murdered

First, let me say that my heart breaks for this family and agency. I can’t stand the thought of this little boy without his father, this wife without her husband.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them for what will be many difficult days and years to come.

This picture tells us a little bit about the kind of man Lt. Allan was, and provides a teachable moment for what we can learn from him. 

He made time for his family. He made time to walk his son to the bus stop.  He showed affection by holding his son’s hand.  And he did all of this not knowing that it was going to be his last photo, his last moments with his family, the last memory that his son will have of him alive. 

How different could things be for our families and relationships if we lived every moment as if it could be the last?  I know it sounds cliché, but the truth is, every moment could be your last.

How are you spending your time?  Are you making your family a priority or an afterthought?  Are you making an effort to be there for the special moments?

Sure, our jobs are difficult and require us to miss moments we would rather not.  But how many times could we sneak away if we actually asked, or if we simply realized that the job will still be there when we return?

How many moments could we experience if we weren’t tied to extra jobs and overwhelming financial burdens?  Moreover, what if we truly understood that no amount of money can replace those special moments, so maybe we can do without some of those “things” in exchange for irreplaceable memories?

I look at that little hand, undoubtedly holding tight to one of Daddy’s fingers.  Do we show affection, or have we allowed ourselves to lose the ability to feel even at home and with our loved ones?

What a powerful reminder for each one of us, and may we heed the lessons being taught.  Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

If you find yourself wondering what you can do about your relationships, finances, or priorities, take a few moments to check out the very relevant episodes of the Watch Your Six Podcast.

Jonathan Parker, police officer, pastor, host of Watch Your Six Podcast

(Feature image for illustrative purpose . . . unrelated to Lt. Aaron Allan story)