Dr. Tanya McCoss-Yerigan's Blog
I am a lifelong learner who has worked with children, parents, teachers, college/university faculty, and community members.  I guess you could say my career has been spent educating others.  They call us professors.  That's a big calling...to "profess".  As though we know everything.  The truth is, I have spent most of my career sifting through information and trying desperately to stay current with the research.  I've done this not so I could "profess" but rather so I could FACILITATE the learning of myself and others.  It is only with a sense of humor that I call my blog "The Unordinary Professor".  I will do my best to share information important to children, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, grandparents, and educators.  Basically, I will share what my experience tells me might be of interest and relevance to you.  In return, I hope you will share with me too.  I look forward to learning WITH and FROM YOU!     


by Dr. Tanya Yerigan on 09/29/15

I know National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is celebrated in January but I appreciate them every day. Before I begin, I would like to apologize for the length of this writing. I share these thoughts with a heavy heart. I am not a political person and am not one that likes controversy of any sort. I am simply the wife of one officer and the mother of another. Although I am proud they are law enforcement officers, in photos I must hide their identity and departmental patches. I must always be fully aware that showing their faces or revealing their location (especially on social media), may make them a target of someone who does not value their service or perhaps their lives. It is with this said, that I come out of my very private shell to share. I am not an activist or do I care to be but it is becoming very difficult to sit among the silent majority. I can’t complain about the treatment of our law enforcement officers, if through my silence, I passively am not standing up for them.

So, as I was saying, I am ever-careful not to make them a target of someone who does not understand their sacrifice. Sacrifice. It is a word thrown around all too easily when it should be a word selectively used for the brave and their valor. Yes, it should be reserved for those who do what most of us cannot imagine doing. It should be a word reserved for those who have selflessly chosen to stand between safety and harm, security and danger, prey and the predator, the weak and the strong, the bad and the good, and between right and wrong. I am not saying that others of us do not sacrifice, because we certainly do. I am simply saying it is a word I have come to see portrayed in the selfless acts of my husband, my son, and all of their law enforcement brothers and sisters (locally and across the nation) whether it be the sheriff, the chief, a deputy sheriff, a police officer, a patrolman, or a dispatcher. Their sacrifice cannot fully be defined or confined into words. Although I will try, I begin knowing I will not be able to do it justice. I share not in the hopes of starting a tirade of inflammatory commentary but quite the contrary. I share in the hopes of honoring every man or woman who wears, has worn, or will wear a badge. I share in the hopes of educating those of you who do not know the person behind that badge.

Officers are a human being who have simply selected a career which requires them to charge when the rest of us flee. This is where the controversy is born. It is born because there is someone willing to charge and to intervene. To stop those who otherwise would get away with unthinkable things. It is those who, if not for these men and woman of the badge, would go without accountability. Yes, the controversy is born out of a position that requires accountability from each of us and themselves. Today, far too many people do not like to be held accountable for anything or to anybody. If you are one of the radicals, your mind has already begun to spin an uninvited response to these words. Undoubtedly, a response that will attempt to leverage a stance against me with some rare instance of officer misbehavior, specifically use of excessive force. Let me disarm you before you waste your energy. I fully agree with you! An officer who is racist, thinks they are above the law, or thinks he or she is judge/ jury himself must be held accountable just the same as you or I. Actually, they should be held to an even higher standard of discipline. For they, are our role-models. Yes, I said these are rare because it is true. Let me share an example. In 2012, it was estimated across the United States there were over 53 million law enforcement contacts with citizens. From these contacts there were 2080 sustained complaints of excessive force. That is roughly .0039%. Any researcher and data analyzer would say that percentage (less than ½ of a percentage point) is extremely low in comparison to the number of contacts. With that said, even though low, it is unacceptable and should be zero. Again, I agree. We should have zero tolerance for officers who act or believe they are above the law. Rather than allow this to demean an admirable profession, divide communities, and perhaps even a nation, why can’t people work towards a peaceful response and resolution. Rather than blindly chastising an entire profession and its professionals, carefully and through proper channels, weed out those unworthy of the badge. Why can’t we give back the respect and prestige these officers deserve? Why don’t we have the ability to see them (and their families) for their service and sacrifice?

I wrote this in honor of my husband, my son, and all of you who serve by their sides locally and across the nation. It is a mere glimpse from this wife and mother's perspective. Thank you for taking the time to read...

Comments (1)

1. Tim Yerigan said on 1/10/16 - 10:35AM

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Dr. Tanya Yerigan
(click on the image)
McCoss-Yerigan, T. (2014). No ordinary son. Granite Falls: Infinitely Yours Publications.
Yerigan, T. (Fall, 2008). Five great fall excursions, Savor Magazine, 11.
Yerigan, T. (2013). Probe, Present & Prescribe.
Yerigan, T. & Krepps, L. (2010). Do teachers impact literacy strategy implementation in content area classrooms? Journal of Instructional Pedagogies.1-18.
Yerigan, T. (2007). Getting active in the classroom. Journal of College Teaching & Learning,5(6), 19-24.
"PROF"essional Development for YOU!
McCoss-Yerigan, T. (2015).If you could see what I see.