Each and every one of us knows what it is like to be in a situation where we are scared. We suck it up and do what we are trained to do. We act, we react, we do what needs to be done to get our mission accomplished and go home at the end of the night.
Like all of you, I have been in those life and death situations, and faced those demons that make us second-guess what we did or had to do. And as we always do, we get together, debrief, discuss, and move forward. For each of us, our training and experience plays a role in how we handle a given situation.
Even in the most stressful of incidents, our training and experience kicks in and we are like robots dealing with the situation at hand.
A NEW DAY IN DODGE
Today, we find ourselves in a different battle, with a different suspect.
Unlike those whom we deal with daily, this one is unseen, one that is sneaky and can get you when you least expect it. COVID-19 is something that most of us have never seen before and hope to never see again. For many of us, there will not be signs or symptoms, but for others it will be deadly.
As I write this article, we have 17 confirmed cases of the virus in the Houston Police Department, with one officer fighting for his life on a ventilator.
I believe that it is important more now than ever, that we come together and fight this battle. This hidden suspect can be more deadly than anyone thought and will lead to more deadly encounters for those of us in this profession.
Sadly, we have already seen some of our brothers and sisters taken down by this suspect, and more are sure to follow.
As we battle this suspect, we must put away the pride and macho attitudes which many of us have, including my own. We MUST start taking this virus seriously and start following the recommendations of the CDC along with our local agencies.
I was one of those who believed that this was nothing more than a flu-like virus, until it got here to America and started taking out our Brothers and Sisters. I am begging that each and every one of you do your part and take COVID-19 seriously.
BE A REAL MAN
Glove up, Mask up, and distance yourselves – whenever possible – from anyone on the streets, and even your co-workers, when you can. I understand: this is very difficult to do, especially for me, being an outgoing person.
Some think that you are showing weakness when you roll up on a scene with gloves and a mask …
That just isn’t the case ladies and gentlemen. In reality, it is controlling your environment, it is protecting your Brothers and Sisters in your department, and it is possibly even saving your family!
Remember, we signed up for this, but our families did not.
We need to take the steps necessary to protect our most valuable assets: our family.
- Wash your uniform daily
- Leave shoes near the door
- Wash your hands after every encounter
- Shower before greeting your family
It broke my heart to tell my Dad that I couldn’t give him a hug because I was in uniform and had been around the public. He is high risk and couldn’t live with myself if I knew that I could have possibly spread this to him.
Let’s all come together and think about those in our lives who love and support us in the profession that we love. Let’s do our part to keep them, as well as ourselves, safe and virus-free.
With Love and Prayers,
Houston Police Officers Union, FOP Local 110
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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