WINCHESTER, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Tennessee police officer posted an emotional video on social media about the struggle many officers across the country are experiencing in today’s communities.
Saying the job is no longer what he signed up for, officer Dustin Elliott is hanging up his uniform after 10 years of service.
From “the nightmares” that come with the job to the fear of retaliation, Elliott said he has had enough.
“I just can’t take it anymore,” he said. “It’s an eerie feeling that you go anywhere and you feel like there’s a person following you.”
Elliott said there’s a real concern of never returning home to his wife and children.
“We get told all the time when you arrest somebody, wait ’till I get out of jail I’m going to kill you, I know where you live, I know who your family is. At some point you run across that one person that you feel like he means business,” explained Elliott.
“There’s a lot of sacrifices we have to make. There’s a lot of sacrifices our family has to make,” he said, tearing up. “Being married to a cop is probably one of the hardest jobs in the world.”
Elliott pointed to the current unrest as being a major part in his decision.
“To see my brothers and sisters being killed across the United States for merely putting on a uniform it’s overwhelming,” he said.
Elliott posted the video on Facebook, detailing the sacrifice officers make and the backlash that comes with it.
“I thought long and hard about whether or not I should even make a video, but I think we all need to understand where law enforcement stands and the crusade against us,” he said. “That is weighing on every officer’s heart in America right now, but it’s devastating to be a police officer right now and to know what’s going on, and how people feel about you, and the things you do in this job, and the sacrifices you make that, there’s a lot that would rather see you dead just because of the uniform that you wear. There’s a bad day coming for us. It is if we don’t get ahold of this now.”
Elliott said he hopes his decision doesn’t deter new recruits, saying more good officers willing to protect their communities and serve justice are needed.
Elliott’s last day with the Winchester Police Department will be at the end of the month.