Dustin Elliott

Veteran Winchester Police Officer Dustin Elliott said he is leaving his job because of high stress levels related to the public's current negative stance against police.

Elliott has posted a video on Facebook explaining why he has giving his notice to step down.

"I've thought long and hard on whether to even make a video but felt like that today we all kind of need to understand where law enforcement is and the crusade against us, weighing in on every officer's heart in America right now," he said. "It's devastating to be a police officer right now."

Elliott said the current tense conditions have left many in opposition to police officers.

"There's a lot who would rather see you dead just because of the uniform you wear," he said, adding later, "There's a bad day coming for us if we don't get a hold of this now."

Elliott said he struggled with the decision to resign after 10 years on the job.

"I just can't take it anymore," he said. "I'm done with it."

Elliott said that becoming a police officer is one of the best decisions he's made, but there's a great deal others don't consider.

He said the sacrifices his family and loved ones have made to accommodate him being a police officer have been tremendous.

"Being married to a cop is probably one of the hardest jobs in the world," he said. "You don't know the torment that they go through, wondering if their loved one's going to come home."

He said there's also the difficulty of how his children would be told that he might not come home because of what could happen while on duty.

He said his children have suffered because of it.

Elliott said his daughter had come home from school, and children there "said they hated me because I was white and a police officer."

He said there's a fear that someone could drive by and kill his immediate family members. He added that if the family goes shopping, there's a fear that somebody could attack his loved ones just because he's a cop.

Elliott said the nightmares that come along with the job have been difficult to deal with.

"The human mind is not meant to see the things we see," he said, adding later: "You can't just shut it off and not think about it."

Elliott said he's had periods where he wakes up five or six times a night with nightmares that his family has been harmed.

"It takes its toll on you, and at a point, you say 'it's enough,' and I'm at a point where I've had enough," he said.