Thanking those who put their lives on the line to protect us

It was a sombre week for the entire country as Canadians bid farewell to slain Mountie Const. David Wynn

It was a sombre week for the entire country as Canadians bid farewell to slain Mountie Const. David Wynn at his regimental funeral in St. Albert on Monday.

His death should serve as a reminder to us all.

A reminder of the dangers the brave men and women of our country’s law enforcement face every day. A reminder of the freedom and security we’re afforded because of those men and women. And a reminder of how we must be grateful to them for doing what they do.

When I began my career as a journalist, fortunately having never been on the wrong side of the law, I’d never had any interaction with law enforcement.

Law enforcement, in my mind, was simply another career path some people chose to pursue in order to pay bills.

How very wrong I was. And it didn’t take long for me to realize it.

Because men and women who pursue careers in law enforcement aren’t like the rest of us − they’re special.

After all, whether for a paycheque or not, it takes someone a little bit extraordinary to run toward a scene others would instinctively run away from, or to leave the family home every morning knowing it could be for the last time.

And if you think small-town law enforcement is a breeze in comparison with that of larger cities, think again. In fact, I’d implore you to take a look at the RCMP report that runs weekly in the Sylvan Lake News, just to get an idea of what these men and women face on a daily basis.

But despite being special, they’re also human. That’s another thing I’ve learned since becoming a journalist.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed new recruits to find out that they, just like the rest of us, have lives outside of work. They have families, passions, hobbies, pets, and − believe it or not − some of them even have a sense of humour!

What separates them from the rest of us, however, is that they put all of that at risk when they go to work.

So if you happen to see one of them in the community, tell them thank you. For what they do, it’s the least we can do.