RCMP officers, like other emergency responders, have tough jobs.
Every day they go to work and find themselves in situations where they must help people who are in crisis and pain or deal with some of the worst our society has to offer, not to mention they are at risk of being injured or killed doing their duty.
A Statistics Canada study from 2010 found that police are the most likely Canadians to be slain on the job and since 1975 nearly 300 police officers in the country have been killed in the line of duty.
Despite the risk, they conduct themselves fearlessly and one Cochrane officer was recognized earlier this month for exemplifying that spirit of courage.
Cst. Sean Gordon, who saved 11 lives last year during two different incidents both involving risk of harm to himself, was awarded a medal of bravery for his actions and while he accepts the honour with humility he is a testament to the Cochrane detachment.
His experience and training ensured 10 people didn't drown in Ghost Lake and saved a 15-year-old who went into medical distress during the same incident. It also kicked in when he had to enter a home and secure a sword-wielding assailant before providing life-saving medical treatment to an injured woman.
In both those incidents, if it had not been for Gordon's actions at least one person would likely be dead. While we see his feats as remarkable, he sees them as another day at work.
It is officers such as Gordon that people should remember when they go on rants disparaging RCMP officers who pulled them for speeding or when they believe the police should have been parked outside their home the exact moment their car was stolen.
Not to minimize the violation that comes with being a victim of crime, but blaming the police for a theft is about as useful as blaming the car.
Officers do the best they can with the resources they have and frustrations about resources being spread too thin should be directed at the governments that continue to under fund the agencies designed to protect us from harm.
The simple truth is: when we're in danger the police are the ones who will be there to face the threat head on and that is something more people should recognize instead of painting an entire community of dedicated public servants with negativity for the actions of a few or because you don't like speeding tickets.