Lately, watching the news hasn't just been disturbing; it's sickened me to see the violence against our nation's police officers. In Baton Rouge , three officers were targeted and killed and three others wounded. Officer Montrell Jackson, age 32, was a new father and Liberty Tax family member. These senseless killings came after five officers died in an ambush in Dallas on July 7th. 

It's time Americans stood up and showed respect and support for our policemen and women. I realized after the Baton Rouge shooting that every police officer in America has to be looking over his or her shoulder right now, because this could happen anywhere.

Hopefully, the news headlines will never hit you in a personal way, so permit me to appeal to entrepreneurs and executives on a different level. Your business. As entrepreneurs and executives, our greatest impact often comes from our pocketbooks, not just spending. I'm talking about giving. As a philanthropist, giving has become a game-changer in my life and my business.

In my local community of Virginia Beach, I own a fine dining restaurant, La Bella Italia. Personally, I'm giving 1,500, $50 gift certificates to our local police officers to show my appreciation. This coming season, Liberty Tax will give free tax returns to these same local officers.

So what do your local officers mean to your community? Today I challenge business leaders to step up and show their support for their local police force. Would you even be in business without the protection of these lifesavers? Would your children be as safe as they are in their schools and communities?

Certainly, as a nation, we have a long way to go in protecting our citizens in this age of terror and discord. As business leaders, it's easy to forget about those who are on the front lines keeping us safe: our nation's policemen and women.

Can you think of another more deserving group that needs to hear "thank you" right now?

 

Published on: Jul 19, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.