Cops understand better than most this notion of belief worth sacrifice. Santa Cruz police officers have made this sacrifice and still bear those scars. If you’ve been a cop in a metropolitan area for any length of time, you have witnessed firsthand the terrible cost of complete sacrifice. Few officers escape injury or the sting of a friend who was killed by the hands of another. I have seen and felt this pain too many times in my 40 years of policing.
Each of us joined this profession knowing full well we may need to sacrifice everything. Even our life. While those who seek our demise are few, this looming impression of pending fate is an ever-present reality anchored in the existence of pain and loss.
Yet our officers believe so strongly in something, the mission of policing, that they forge ahead, guarding our community and protecting our constitution – especially the right to civil protest and speaking one’s mind.
Its officers like Adam Baker whose father was murdered for his belief continues to understand and accept the risk because policing Santa Cruz is worth sacrificing everything. For them, these men and women, I am grateful.