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Eight thousand police officers gathered in Toronto on Tuesday for the funeral of Sgt. Ryan Russell, who was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 12.

We asked some of them to read the lines of an anonymous poem called I Am the Officer, which pays tribute to the work police do.

Above is a video montage of their readings, while a copy of the poem is pasted below:


I Am the Officer

I have been where you fear to be,

I have seen what you fear to see,

I have done what you fear to do —

All these things I have done for you.

I am the person you lean upon,

The one you cast your scorn upon,

The one you bring your troubles to —

All these people I've been for you.

The one you ask to stand apart,

The one you feel should have no heart,

The one you call "The Officer in Blue,"

But I'm just a person, just like you.

And through the years I've come to see,

That I am not always what you ask of me;

So, take this badge ... take this gun ...

Will you take it ... will anyone?

And when you watch a person die

And hear a battered baby cry,

Then do you think that you can be

All these things you ask of me?

(Author unknown)