As a mark of respect for the victims of the act of hatred and terrorism perpetrated early yesterday morning in Orlando, Florida, the flag of the United States is once again being flown at half-staff at the Rogers County Court House and the offices of the Rogers County Sheriff. It should serve as a reminder that regardless of race, religion, faith, or sexual orientation, we’re all Americans, everyone is vulnerable, and we have an obligation to defend each other’s constitutional rights. As law enforcement officers we are further committed to looking after, protecting, and serving every individual in our community. And, as each of these devastating acts occur, it becomes even more necessary that everyone of us join in solidarity to show the world we are not divided; instead, we stand “indivisible” in the course of freedom.
Rogers County Deputy Sara Haslett, who is shown standing near the entrance of the Court House, just like every other Rogers County Sheriff’s Deputy, took an oath to serve mankind, to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of ALL men to liberty, equality, and justice. As we witness the horror that was used to intimidate this group, based merely upon their sexual orientation, it reminds us of our fundamental law enforcement duty, and our prayers go out to the families of those who have been killed and to those who have been wounded. We will do everything in our ability to see that something like this never occurs “on our shift”. But, the truth of the matter is this – law enforcement needs the community just as much as the community needs law enforcement. Once again, equality is not based upon an individual’s perception or opinion. In our Country it is provided regardless of race, religion, faith, or sexual orientation. Help us maintain the sanctity of every person’s individual rights.