Show respect to law enforcement officers

I feel compelled to respond to anti-police messages.

I am a retired DEA special agent. I spent 34 years proudly protecting our citizens in eight different cities across the U.S. First and foremost, DEA agents arrest drug dealers, not drug users.

That said, DEA agents are, at times, assigned to special operations in various locations.

I served in ops that included Harlem, Brooklyn, Watts, Compton, San Francisco, D.C., North Las Vegas, Miami and remote Southwest border cities in California and Arizona. Our presence would be requested by local governments, and in conjunction with local police, we would infiltrate and eventually eliminate drug operations run by gangs and drug cartels in these cities.

Our objective was to free innocent residents from the everyday violence and influence of the violent drug gangs who put children and families in peril. It didn’t matter to us their race, religion or sex. Their quality of life and safety was our main concern. In most, if not all, cases, we left to the applause and thanks of the residents.

This commitment is shared by today’s police officers and special agents throughout America. Consider the danger they face every day and ask yourself why anyone would do this job. Please show them the respect they have earned and deserve.

Remember that a man or woman that carries a badge considers it a privilege and puts your safety as their top priority. Law enforcement truly believes that all lives matter and put their own in jeopardy each day to show, not just say, this.

I would do it all again tomorrow. Be safe.

Tom Raffanello, Islamorada

Recommended for you