Taxes.

Listen, I get that people hate taxes. I get that we all feel like we pay way too much without really thinking about what those taxes pay for. The rhetoric I hear from both sides suggests that my taxes don’t really get much done. And I get where they’re coming from, really I do.

But.

Taxes make my job possible. And taxes also help fund essential services such as fire and police. This struck me Thursday as I spent over 90 minutes with Bellevue Police Officers. As part of our staff in-service day, BPD ran a drill with us. I knew this was happening, and I was so anxious about it that I couldn’t sleep Wednesday night. But I also know, from my dad’s career in the Air Force, that exercises and drills like these are helpful. They train us and give us simulated experiences so that IF the “real thing” ever happens, it doesn’t feel quite so foreign.

I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to blog about the experience, since I got the feeling that the district admin wasn’t too jazzed about BPD tweeting photos of the exercise, but I have a couple of thoughts.

First, I am absolutely in awe over what our law enforcement officials do for us. I have no idea how they find the strength to put on those uniforms every morning. They were simultaneously blunt and reassuring today.

Second, I was surprised at how not-freaked-out I was at the sight of the guns. I’m supposing this has to do with media desensitization. And maybe the fact that I’ve shot guns before.

Third, I’m glad to know our school has a plan. I know for sure where I’m supposed to go, what I’m supposed to do.

I felt a variety of emotions during the drill, including gratitude for taxes. Without taxes to pay our police force, I would feel so much more vulnerable. Instead, I feel comfort that if, heaven forbid, I’m ever in a situation where First Responders are my only hope, my safety will be their number one priority.

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