While 2020 was a year of serious challenges, tragedies, and divisions, there were some bright spots. In this blog series, the IWF team looks back at the year’s highlights, silver linings, and redeeming themes as we countdown the days to 2021.

When we kicked around ideas about good things, redemptive things, that happened in 2020, I staked out a bah humbug position.    

I didn’t want to give an inch to the edict-encrusted year that brought panic, pain and so many infringements on our liberties.

Then I remembered something for which I was truly grateful: the sight of a certain car parked across the street, always late at night. Specifically, it was a cop’s car.

If I had to make a gratitude list, I’d put the sight of that car at the top. I didn’t notice the car until after the Black Lives Matter protestors marched through my neighborhood. The real action was a few blocks away, where more than 40 arrests were made. Looking at the protest from my window was still a scary experience, however.

You know these things can turn violent in the flash of an eye. That’s what frightened me as I watched. A news outlet reported that the protestors were met “with a massive police presence.” That may be why my cat and I are still in our cozy, not-burned out apartment! Believe me, I was glad to see the cops.

So, in this annus horribilis, I moved from respect and mere appreciation for the police to loving them. Thousands of police officers quit their jobs during the year, and you’d have to be a dolt not to understand why. Yes, I know, there are bad cops. By and large, though, the only people who hate the cops are lawbreakers, or people planning to break the law. Or perhaps academics disassociated from reality.

For me, 2020 was the year of taking comfort from cops. In the eerie stillness of my neighborhood, a bevy of police officers congregating and chatting cheerfully outside the WAWA early in the early mornings inevitably raised my spirits. Cops, coffee, and donuts. Normalcy. What could be more reassuring? The presence of cops, massive or otherwise, reminded a number of times this year that civic order had not been completely obliterated. Not yet, at least. I often look out the window, late at night, to check for the cop car. I feel safer when I see it.