The book contains many blank pages that will one day be filled.
I am reminded of the Oklahoma peace officers who have fallen “in obedience” to our laws while protecting the rule of law in our state. I am reminded that the shield shaped badge that the Oklahoma peace officer wears protects us just like the shield of the Spartans protected the Greeks. To defend the peoples’ law requires a commitment that all expect, but only a few will make.
As a state representative, the responsibility of passing legislation worthy of protection is sobering. The legislative process is neither a game nor folly. The men and women of Oklahoma who wear a badge and enforce our laws deserve much more than our accolades.
Whether they are members of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a state agency, a county sheriff’s department or a municipal police department, they deserve our respect, our constant and continuing thanks and compensation in such an amount that they will be able to provide for their spouse and children without having to rely on food stamps, government programs or private charity.
These men and women and their families face the unthinkable every single time they go to work. We do not need another study to know that their pay is well below private sector pay and well below the pay scale in surrounding states. They deserve more than the empty promises and petty politics received by the OHP during the last legislative session.
Not only do our law enforcement officers share the integrity of Leonidas, they also share his understanding of the reality of their situation. Leonidas’ wife constantly worried about the day that he would meet death while protecting the people of Sparta. When she wondered aloud about what she would do when he failed to return, Leonidas replied "marry a good man who will treat you well, bear him children, and live a good life."
That “wing and a prayer” is little consolation for the service and sacrifice of Oklahoma lawmen who place obedience to the law above their self-interest.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. I look forward to hearing from you at David.Perryman@okhouse.gov or 405-557-7401.