Law Enforcement Appreciation Day: Honoring Police Officers

Kristin Weisell
January 09, 2019 - 12:11 pm
Police Officer

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Today is National Law Enforcement Appreciation day, honoring police officers all across the United States.  

January 9th of every year is designated as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, to show appreciation for officers and the sacrifices they make in their daily lives to protect us.

Police Lieutenant Pedro Barineau has spent his entire 15 year career as an officer in Garland. Simply put, he says he chose this life to make a difference for people.

“There’s people out there that can’t help themselves,” he says. “When I’m able to make a difference and help somebody, it means the world to me.”

Officers respond to calls daily, hourly, by the minute. It can be difficult to unwind mentally.

“You’re going from call to call to these cries for help,” Barineau says. “People may not understand that once we complete a call, it’s immediately on to the next one. We don’t always get a break. It’s tough.”

But Barineau tries to shelter his three young kids from the worst things about his job. His wife Maria says it can be hard explaining things to their kids. Even as they get older it doesn't get much easier.

“One time on Pedro’s way to a funeral, one of our boys said ‘Daddy, just come home to us’,” she says. “It’s hard to see that as they get older, they know the dangers more. But they’re so proud.”

Maria says she’s also used to the inevitable pressure it adds to their home life. Sometimes Barineau is called away from dinner, a soccer game, or a celebration to be there for someone else.

“It’s picking up the slack,” she says. “But I’m grateful for his position, so I can’t be too upset. This is what God has called him to do.”

While there can be tension between police officers and communities, many say the good moments outweigh the bad.

“To see that thankfulness in someone’s eyes and to know that something could have been worse if I didn't show up, it means everything” Barineau says.

His wife says she can never entirely forget that no matter where he goes in his uniform, he can be seen as a target.

“Officers have a family to go home to, a mom and dad who are praying for them,” she says. “They have family responsibilities and stresses as well. They’re not superhuman. They’re people too.”

In support of Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, people are encouraged to thank an officer if they see one.