It could have been my child….That is the though that crosses my mind tonight, as I reflect on the loss of Officer Jillian Smith who served the Arlington, TX Police Department. She was protecting the life of an 11 year old girl from an armed and extremely dangerous perpetrator when she was killed in the line of duty. The man killed the girl’s mother as well. He then turned the weapon on himself, and took his own life.
I have never threatened my wife. I don’t intend to start either. But I know that one of my children could be placed in imminent danger at any moment. One of my kids could end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time when an armed individual starts acting in an aggressive and life threatening manner. I have served as a law enforcement chaplain for 21 years. I know without question that other officers would make the same choice that Officer Smith did. They would lay their lives down for a total stranger. It could be my child that they are called to serve and protect.
I hope we entertain such thoughts before we gripe and whine about a well deserved speeding ticket that we received. And I hope we are aware of the constant danger that exists for such servants before we gripe about them taking a quick lunch break at a local restaurant while on duty. I would especially not advise anyone to tell a female officer that they were expecting a “real officer” to show up to take their report. (By the way that really happens) And I would certainly not call that same female officer “honey” in some sort of condescending tone when she is trying to help you.
24 year old Jillian Smith will most certainly not be referred to as “honey” by the community she served. Citizens in the City of Arlington are calling her “hero.” It is well deserved. An 11 year old girl is safe tonight, because Officer Smith laid down her life for a stranger. I think she is a hero too, because I know it could have been my child…