I ask of you to walk a mile in my boots, not because I don’t think you can but because I want to be understood.

I ask you to understand the feeling of my boots. Feeling the weight and hardness.

You see these are the same boots that protected my foot from the snake that tried to bite me because I was trying to remove it from your house.

The same boots that trekked through two feet of snow in pursuit of a subject who just committed a violent crime.

The same boots that kicked down the door of a burning home because a mother was pleading to me that her kids were still inside.

The same boots that stood next to a pool of blood, from a body that had the life stolen from it.

The same boots that stood in the pouring rain, one hundred and ten degree summer day and the beautiful seventy-five degree spring days.

I ask you to experience the sounds my boots make.

The same sounds my family hears early in the morning or late at night.

The same sounds that my family clings to because they can’t honestly say they will ever hear them again.

The same sounds the suspect hears, when I am searching for them before they can commit any more crimes.

I asked you to experience the memories that return to me every day when I put my boots on.

The same memories of fearing for my life, looking down the barrel of a loaded gun that was pointed at me.

The same memories of pulling the trigger because I wanted to live.

The same memories of carrying the limp body of a child out of a wrecked car, which was destroyed by a drunk driver.

My boots are worn and tattered from the task I have to accomplish each and every day. Before you judge me on the actions of others or by simply the uniform I proudly represent, please, walk a mile in my boots, and just maybe you will understand why I do the things I do.