We have the honor of seeing some of the sports world's biggest stars on Tuesday in Denver. Fans will watch a lineup of Major League Baseball's most gifted players, as American League standouts play their National League counterparts — including Shohei Ohtani, who becomes the first All-Star player to start as a pitcher and designated hitter.

Tuesday night can and should be a proud moment for all of Colorado.

While heroes on the field will get big money and mounds of attention, we hope Major League Baseball, the crowd, and all of Colorado will take a moment to honor another set of heroes without holding back. This game, and all that surrounds it, would not be possible without the brave men and women of law enforcement who are being murdered in record numbers throughout the country. They are demonized and demoralized by mostly left-wing agitators and a handful of ignorant politicians who fear these extremists.

In Denver, political pressure during 2020's "defund the police" movement led city politicians to cut the police budget by nearly 10%. Yet, the police keep policing.

The game comes as Denver continues its struggle to recover from a year of rioting, looting, and general chaos that left much of downtown — including the state capitol building — boarded up, tagged with graffiti, and stained with remnants of tear gas canisters. It comes as Denver city officials continue an ongoing and seemingly futile effort to clear homeless encampments throughout the city. The encampments have sidewalks and parks littered with tents, shanties, boxes, needles, liquor bottles, and human waste. When the police try to move the homeless or even help them in any way, they are deemed oppressors by a movement that seems to favor anarchy.

Most troubling of all, the All-Star Game comes just days after law enforcement officers arrested four heavily armed criminal suspects inside the Maven Hotel, one block from Coors Field. Local and federal authorities continue investigating the motives of the suspects. Whatever plans they may have had for the weapons were probably no in the best interests of the general public.

For more than the past year, we have seen police officers of various races yelled at, shoved, shot, spit upon, and generally derided during left-wing protests. We saw similar taunting and abuse of federal and local law enforcement when right-wing protesters attacked the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.

Despite the street-level abuse and the political crusades to defund and disband law enforcement, officers continue doing their jobs — tasks few individuals are willing or competent to do. Young new officers risk their lives as they watch their more seasoned colleagues retire in record numbers in reaction to "defund" and "disband" the police crusades.

God help us if the police had failed to intervene in the hotel-room arsenal. God help us if the police declined to respond to gun crimes and other violent events that have become so common the public seems jaded.

We cannot survive as the society we know and love without the police. We certainly could not bring baseball celebrities and tens of thousands of fans together for a globally relevant athletic event if we did not have police who thanklessly obey their pledges to uphold the peace no matter what.

Out-of-staters here for the game, welcome to Colorado. This is a beautiful place to visit and live. It's a great place to hit home runs through the light air of mile-high altitude.

Without the men and women of law enforcement, this would be no place to visit or live. The cops who serve Denver and the rest of Colorado are essential to maintaining Colorado's coveted lifestyles.

Let's honor the baseball stars on the field Tuesday and cheer them on. More importantly, let's honor and cheer for our law enforcement heroes who work for meager wages and tolerate obscene amounts of disrespect. Without their professional service, no one could play ball.

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