National Thank a Police Officer Day is being celebrated on September 19. However, amid civil unrest concerning authority members and the Defund the Police movement gaining momentum, the holiday received thousands of widely contrasting responses on Twitter in 2020.
Also known as National Tell a Police Officer Thank Day, the holiday started in 2012 by the Whole Truth Project, according to AFBA, an organization created by Andrew Hale, a Chicago-based attorney. Hale represented police officers in numerous different high profile cases and was inspired to create the holiday to honor those serving and protecting our communities.
“We want people to show their appreciation for the job that the brave men and women of law enforcement do every day,” Hale said. “Having represented police officers for several years, I know the difficult job these men and women undertake every day and I think we often take our police officers for granted. We must show support and appreciation for those that serve and protect us.”
Hale also recognized that not all authority members deserve to be commended. “Unfortunately, the bad tends to stand out and make more interesting news stories,” Hale said to the HuffPost in 2012. “Mistakes and problems tend to be more dramatic, attention-getting, adrenalin-fueling — far more than the calm, peaceful good deeds police officers do every day.”
Delmarva Supports Law Enforcement’s Andrea Baumann told WDEL that she hopes people put out a flag, a blue bow, or deliver lunch to their local police station on Saturday. She also recognized the holiday faces major challenges this year. Baumann said:
lot of people are quick to label the entire profession, which is not fair when you consider how many officers are out there going above-and-beyond every day in their communities. I don’t think it’s fair to blame all officers, and I don’t think it’s fair to underestimate what they go through and the extra stress that they have… There are a lot of individual [instances] where our law enforcement professionals go above-and-beyond in communities and neighborhoods, being a mentor, spreading some extra kindness, going back after work to help someone.
Some Twitter Users Celebrated National Thank a Police Officer Day By Thanking ‘Essential Workers Who Actually Deserve It’
instead of wasting ur time thanking the pigs for killing people, say thank you to USPS workers, doctors, firefighters and many other essential workers who actually deserve it
also here are some cool acab images that i really like ☺️ pic.twitter.com/1ZLiio6mgC
— chris 🌪️🦊🍎 he/him (@rabsberries) September 19, 2020
National Thank a Police Officer Day went viral on Twitter, as thousands of users took that hashtag to offer a backhanded “thank you,” or taking the time to deliver their appreciation to other state employees such as firefighters and United States Post Office workers.
Amid the wildfires ravaging throughout the state of California, one person tweeted, “Instead of thanking a cop for #thankapoliceofficerday go find your local firefighter who is actually protecting and serving you.” Another user tweeted, Nah, I’ll pass. They don’t protect. They kill unarmed black people. That’s why they’re still here. We need to abolish the police. Thank a firefighter, or a teacher, or even your f***ing pets. Cops are here to provide civil unrest.”
— Alberto Balsalm (@wolfhaleysucks) September 19, 2020
— Becca (@HeyImBeccaH) September 19, 2020
The hashtag “f*** the police” also started to trend on Twitter
Numerous People Showed Genuine Appreciation for the Police on Twitter
To those I've worked with, those who have retired, those who still serve and those who are just beginning their career – this #ThankAPoliceOfficerDay and always, stay safe, God bless and thank you. pic.twitter.com/KBYFXFIFVm
— Anthony P. D'Esposito (@ANTHONYDESPO) September 19, 2020
On the other side of the spectrum, there were numerous Twitter members who shared their genuine appreciation for law enforcement on Saturday. One person tweeted, “Today is #thankapoliceofficerday if you happen to see a police officer go up and say “thank you”. You have no idea what it means to us and you will absolutely make that officer’s day.To the over 800,000 police officers in this country THANK YOU!”
— cello (@cellocnocare) September 19, 2020
— Rhamey LeAnne (@rhamey_floyd) September 19, 2020
Numerous People Sent Their ‘Thank You’ to Fictional Police Members Instead
As we work as a nation to stop police brutality, let good cops shine the way.
I fully support prosecuting police who go too far
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) September 19, 2020
On National Thank a Police Officer Day, Officer Earl Devereaux, the fictional character from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, received an outpouring of love and support, as did other made-up enforcement officers from popular video games, films, and TV shows.
— i ain’t sure (@procrasnsmh810) September 19, 2020
— liberty (@gr6ndefilms) September 19, 2020
#thankapoliceofficerday Thank you Jim Hopper for always keeping the town of Hawkins safe from supernatural threats and other occurrences! Things just wouldn't be the same in Indiana without you! pic.twitter.com/IxU2iLPKJD
— Milky (@milkyriverbed02) September 19, 2020
— ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 Maggie (#BlackLivesMatter) (@puellamaggie) September 19, 2020