The lieutenant governor of Texas said attitudes toward police officers need to change, beginning with addressing cops as “sir and ma’am all of the time.”
“As more details of the tragic death of Harris County Sheriff Deputy Darren Goforth unfold, a morbid reality is unveiled about America’s negative attitude toward our law enforcement officers,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement today. “It must end now or we run the risk of fewer men and women willing to go into the profession and families insisting their spouses change careers.”
Goforth, a 47-year-old father of two and 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, was shot 15 times in an ambush attack while fueling up his car.
“Police officers are judged 24/7, 365 days a year for their entire career. One mistake can get them sued, fired or killed. I want to remind Texans and the rest of our country that these brave souls are the thin line between a country of law and order and a society of total lawlessness where no one is safe,” continued Patrick. “I challenge all Texans to think about how underappreciated our officers must feel, how dangerous their jobs are, how they leave their families everyday not knowing if they are coming home and more importantly, if there is anything you can do to help make their job a little easier.”
The lieutenant governor said people should “start calling our officers sir and ma’am all of the time. It’s a show of respect they deserve.”
“Every time you see an officer anywhere, let them know you appreciate their service to our community and you stand with them,” Patrick continued. “If you are financially able, when you see them in a restaurant on duty pick up their lunch check, send over a dessert, or simply stop by their table briefly and say thank you for their service.”
He also promoted a prayer service for law enforcement this evening at a Baptist church in Conroe, Texas.
“All lives matter and we need to put an end to this violence against law enforcement – now!”
Patrick’s suggestions got some pushback on Twitter:
— Renee Obey (@DrReneeObey) September 2, 2015
— OLAASM (@OLAASM) September 2, 2015
I say “sir” or “ma’am” out of habit BUT GTFOH AND STAY to the thought of having to refer to law enforcement as “sir” or “ma’am”
— James (@_CampbellNoSoup) September 2, 2015
@AngryBlackLady My mother did not allow us to call anyone “Sir, or Ma’am”. She felt that it was racist and patriarchal. Patrick is high.
— Erica Codey-Rucker (@EricaERucker) September 2, 2015