I grew up in a small town not far from Walla Walla. In my youngest years, police response was normal. Certain “family” was on a first name basis with surrounding law enforcement officers because of the frequent visits.

As a child, I was torn. I felt safe when the cops responded but sad to see them again and again without fully understanding.

I grew up with D.A.R.E. and slowly begun to understand the cause and effects. My personal belief is that everyone has the right to choose their path in life but they are not free from the consequences of such choices.

I also believe that people have the ability to make changes in their life. I believe that people build resilience throughout their experiences and within the environment to which they are exposed to.

Who are you to pass judgment? Did someone do specific harm to you? Did someone display direct disrespect toward you? Do you know or do you think you know?

Perception seems to be taking over reality. What world do we want to leave our children with? I have done wrong in my life. I have learned from the wrong that I have done.

I’m almost certain I will make another mistake in the years I have left. You will too. It costs nothing to be kind. It costs nothing to say “thank You.” Be the example that you want to see in others.

Behind every badge and within every uniform, there are people. They are the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles. They are someone.

I support the Walla Walla Police Department.

I support law enforcement officers.

I will stand with and for the thin blue line.

They are the sheepdog who protect us from the evils you can only imagine.

Sheena Bates

Walla Walla