SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - The shooting in Baton Rouge is the latest in a series of attacks on law enforcement, rocking the nation and those hired to serve and protect. KTVU rode along with a San Jose Police Officer who called the attacks a bad trend and a dangerous time to be an officer.
For 25 years, Robert Payne has worn a San Jose Police uniform. The 49-year-old knew he wanted to be an officer at five years old. He admits putting on the uniform Monday wasn't easy.
"I catch my sons are little bit more weary of what I'm doing," said Payne. "It's tough. You want to get home to them. Every officer wants to get home safely."
The San Jose native was home when three officers were gunned down in Baton Rouge. He received text and Facebook messages of concern. However, his immediate thought was of the families of the officers killed especially since he's been to several police funerals himself, playing "Taps" in the Honor Guard.
"People don't know these officers personally. They are no different than us," said Payne. "I don't suit up to come hurt people nor does any of my partners."
KTVU rode along with him, patrolling South San Jose.
"That's probably the number one question I get. are you scared?," said Payne. "Absolutely. Absolutely we are human."
Officer Payne said education and understanding are key right now from both sides. He said his police training, trust in his officers and the community's support is helping him get through a dangerous time for law enforcement.
Blue ribbons, cards and notes of appreciation are up at police headquarters, as a way to say thanks and a reminder for Payne as to why he suits up every day.
"I am overwhelmed with the community," said Payne. "They appreciate what we do and that's why we will continue to fight. We are here for them."
Officer Payne said he plans to ride with a partner Tuesday so they can back each other up.