First he takes ... the oath. Now look at what else he takes: He takes ... it in stride when people call him pig. He takes ... his lousy pay check realizing he'll never be rich. He takes ... a second job sometimes to make ends meet and support his family. He takes ... time to stop and talk to children. He takes ... your verbal abuse while giving you a ticket you really deserved. He takes ... on creeps you would be afraid to even look at. He takes ... time away from his family to keep you safe. He takes ... your injured child to the hospital. He takes ... the late shift without complaint because it's his turn. He takes ... his life into his hands daily. He takes ... you home when your car breaks down. He takes ... time to explain why both your headlights have to work. He takes ... the job no one else wants -- telling you a loved one has died. He takes ... criminals to jail. He takes ... in sights that would make you cry. Sometimes he cries too, but he takes it anyway because someone has to. He takes ... memories to bed each night that you couldn't bear for even one day. He takes ... time to explain to his family why he can't make the ball game his child is in and why he has to work on the holiday when other parents are off. Sometimes ... he takes a bullet. And yes, occasionally ... he may take a free cup of coffee. If he is lucky ... he takes retirement. Then one day he pays for all he has taken ... and hopefully, God takes him. Written by Texas Police Officer Kendricks as a tribute to his late brother, Police Officer Rodney Kendricks who died from injuries suffered in an on-duty auto accident in Lubbock, Texas - July 2001. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Have you thanked a cop lately? Try it. When you see a cop in the supermarket, on the streets, getting dinner, or anywhere else. Try it. It will make the cop's day; it will certainly be a blessing to you also.