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I understand the social climate of this country today is not very positive toward police officers and is reflected by some questionable media practices and in statements by national politicians and entertainment stars such as “defund the police.” 

I know this is a discouraging attitude toward every officer in our department and is probably in the back of your mind when responding to a call or conducting an investigation. 

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for any of you to put on your uniform and go to work in this environment.

I wish more people would remember that police officers are not disinterested, antiseptic strangers simply doing a job. 

You are an integral part of our community, as neighbors and friends. 

You are parents who coach school sports, volunteer for programs, raise money for causes, and yes, protect life and property. 

Your presence de-escalates, fortifies, and provides our citizens with a peace of mind they might not realize is a privilege until it is not present.

I want every one of you to know and understand that I and the entire city administration fully support you in your actions as you go about protecting our citizens. 

Your training and experience make you outstanding officers that make us proud every day for your contributions in ensuring the safety of our community. 

You are our heroes who risk your lives every second on the job in order to protect and serve the citizens and visitors of Roanoke Rapids, including those who demean your sacrifice. 

I commend all of you for your professionalism, dedication, and pride you take in your work and service to the city. 

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Matthew 9:5

Editor’s note: Roanoke Rapids City Manager Joseph Scherer sent this as a memo to all members of the police department. It is reprinted as an opinion piece with his permission.