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In a Facebook post that's been shared more than 300,000 times in a day, a retired Detroit police officer appealed for people to come together and "stop the nonsense" following the attack on Dallas police officers. 

Merri McGregor, who served on the force for 17 years until 2014, posted a photo of herself from when she was 21 years old and about to head out for her very first shift. 

She recalled:

I couldn't have been more excited, more proud. Armed with my dad's badge that he wore for 25 years on my chest, one of my mom's sergeant stripe patches in my pocket, my lucky $2.00 bill tucked into my bulletproof vest, a gun I was barely old enough to purchase bullets for on my hip and enough naive courage for a small army, I headed out the door. 

She then reflected on the 17 years of bloodshed, injuries and near-fatal encounters, along with the horrifying things she witnessed. McGregor said her service left her with PTSD, sleepless nights and forced her to miss Christmases with her family and parties with her friends. 

I know what a bullet sounds like when it's whizzing past your ear, a few inches away, I know what the sound of a Mother's shrilling scream is like when she finds out her son has been killed in the middle of the street and I know what it's like to have to tell a wife and mother of 3 that her husband was killed in a car accident while on his way home from work.

 

She appealed for people to understand that despite some "bad cops" out there, "the vast majority of police are good, loving, well intentioned family people."

And she emphasized that what she did and what other officers do every day is all in an effort to protect the public. 

I never once went to work thinking, "I'm gonna beat someone tonight."; "Hmmm...I think I'm gonna kill someone tonight." I DID, however, go to work every night, knowing that I was going to do the best I could to keep good people safe, even if that meant that I died doing so.

We ALL need to start being more understanding and compassionate toward one another. Violence doesn't cure violence and hate doesn't cure hate. I've seen and experienced both sides of the spectrum since I left the PD and I get it. I truly do. But this all has to stop.

[...]

I KNOW there's people who don't deserve to wear the badge but they're SO VERY few and far between. It breaks my heart to see all this hatred and anger flying around. All it's doing is encouraging more of the same.

 

She concluded by encouraging people to be part of the solution, not the problem and for the violence and hate to end. 

"Love to all of you. ALL OF YOU. We're all SO much better than this," she wrote. 

The post, which was shared on the Love What Matters page, drew an outpouring of support and agreement. 

"This is the best thing I've read all year. Not for a second could I do their job, yet they are the first people we call when we need help," one woman wrote in response. 

A man wrote: "All of you can disagree and say what you like. Everything this lady said in this article is true."

Check out the full post above.


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