To Serve and Protect is excerpted from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officer website statement of purpose page.
Almost every state and county have some form of this slogan on their badges, patches, uniforms or the side of their patrol cars. It is intended to inspire motivation and courage within each officer or official to do his or her best. But how often do we really stop and think about what it means?
TO SERVE: Who? THE PEOPLE. Other possible answers that may have been implied or stated outright may include “To serve the government”, “To serve the law” or “To serve your commanding officer”. While there may be a grain of truth in there somewhere, let’s remember who we’re all REALLY there to serve: The People. The guy next door; the family down the street; the good, hard-working people of this great land who see their liberty as a precious gift and excercise it with great care, being ever concious not to tread on the liberty of others. Those who still honor our Constitution as the establishment of the greatest form of government ever to exist on Earth.
AND PROTECT: What? THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE.
Wait a minute, isn’t our job to write tickets and catch bad guys? We may do a lot of that on a day-to-day basis, but never lose sight of what we are really all about. We are about keeping our communities (and thereby, the nation as a whole) a free, happy, safe place to live. Why do we catch and punish lawbreakers? Because if our laws are constitutionally correct, they prohibit us from doing only those things that infringe on the rights or freedoms of others.
For example, when a thief takes something that someone else has worked for, he is denying that citizen the right to their own property. When someone commits a violent crime, he is damaging the most valuable real property a person can own, which is their own body. Traffic laws are in place for the same reason: To protect life and property.
But all too often, our lawmakers enact more laws in a supposed effort to protect everyone from everything, even from ourselves. Lawmakers cross the line when they attempt this by violating one of our most precious constitutional rights of all: The right to determine our own destiny.
The county sheriff is the line in the sand. The county sheriff is the one who can say to the feds, “Beyond these bounds you shall not pass.” This is not only within the scope of the sheriff’s authority; it’s the sheriff’s sworn duty.
Please go read the full text at the CSPOA website.