TOPEKA (KSNT)-Recent attacks on police officers has local law enforcement officers on edge when it comes to wearing the badge.
“You’ve always got to be aware of your surroundings, you’ve got to be careful of the people walking up behind you, people walking beside you, or even that you’re stopping,” Kansas Highway Patrol Lieutenant Josh Kellerman said.
Even though they’re wearing bullet proof vests, body cameras, and armed, their lives are still at risk.
“It’s tough right now,” Kellerman said.
Especially tough after three officers were murdered in just one weekend, two in New York, and one in Florida.
“It’s always a tragedy.”
And it’s a tragedy Kellerman hopes never happens close to home. He knows to help regain the public’s trust. Law enforcement needs to do its part, “Obviously right we can see that trust is strained, and it is on the side of law enforcement to get that trust back.”
And one way they plan on doing that is publishing their presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
“Social media brings that side out where you are getting to see the softer side of law enforcement,” Kellerman said.
Even the Shawnee County Sheriff agrees, and uses Facebook to show they’re humans just like everybody else.
“When they take off that badge they are, they’re just a normal person that wants to go home, lay with their kids and be with their family,” Kellerman said.
But with the recent scrutiny facing officers, that reality of coming home is never a guarantee.
The Kansas Highway Patrol and Shawnee County Sheriff’s office have been using social media sites for awhile now, but say they will push even more to use them reach out to the public.