Today’s police officer faces unbelievable stress. We’ve always had stressful jobs, but with our every single move under video scrutiny, the cumulative pressure put on today’s officers can nearly be overwhelming. Not only does the officer need to worry about the bad guys on the streets but they now worry about how the expected repercussions of their routine actions will impact their family and loved ones.
Knowing this, I had to think about the families. How do wives and mothers cope with this extreme pressure? My mother was married to a police officer and eventually became mother to another. The stress had to be there for her, too.
My father and I didn’t have simple 9-5 desk jobs with weekends free for the family. For much of my life she was a single parent while my father worked afternoons or midnights. She said goodbye to my father as he left for work when most other husbands were getting ready to go to bed.
My father retired before I was sworn in, so she had a short respite before she needed to worry again.
I married a woman whose father was also a retired Chicago Police Officer. Perhaps it was a little more routine for her because she always knew about the evenings when her dad was at work. She understood the need to be quiet at home when he worked midnights.
Still, I know it wasn’t easy for her, especially once we had our first son.
During our careers, my father and I both gave these two ladies good reason to be apprehensive when we left for work. As a detective, my father was shot while apprehending a robber. Fortunately, he pulled through and recovered quickly. I was almost killed in a roll over squad car accident.
I remember laying on the gurney in the E/R after being told I was going into emergency surgery. I insisted they get me a phone so I could call my wife. I knew that if someone else made the call, she wouldn’t expect me to survive.
I remember clearly telling her I had been in an accident and was going into surgery. She called my mother and quickly made arrangements to have our two sons cared for when she came to the hospital.
I had lost a lot of blood through internal bleeding. It was several days before my prognosis was promising. Later, she told me how worried she was for those days. She was five months pregnant with our third son at the time. I had been cruising on my morphine drip and was unaware of what she was going through.
So how did my mother and former cop wife cope and survive times like these?
How does your wife cope with the pressure today when you leave for work?
Your wife watches the news and sees the police lives being attacked by ANTIFA and BLM thugs. She sees you come home tired and filthy. She launders your soiled uniforms smeared with whatever the rioters threw your way.
She makes sure there is food on the table and keeps the kids quiet so you can get a little sleep in before you go back to your next twelve-hour shift.
Your wife shares your frustration with the hypocrisy of these so-called ‘peaceful demonstrators’ and the one-sided bias of the media. She knows that some of her friends hold the two of you in contempt – because of your work.
Those so-called friends have the luxury of a liberal lifestyle. Their only experience with the inner city is driving through it to get to the family’s summer home in Indiana.
Hopefully, your wife has a strong support group. Parents and siblings who pitch-in to ease your burden with the kids can be a God-send.
If they can keep their mouths shut rather than express their desire to defund the police, they’re even better. More than anything, your wife probably needs someone to vent to and express their fears.
It isn’t bad enough that people have placed a bounty on the police which causes your wife to fear for your safety now more than ever. With the COVID-19 pandemic they worry you might bring it home and endanger the children.
Today a cop-spouse may be a man or a woman. Police work isn’t all men any longer, so now this applies to men as well as women and how they cope. The spouse still must answer your kid’s questions and calm their fears when they hear their teachers saying the police are evil and should be killed.
I usually didn’t have to worry about the safety and well-being of my family. If I were killed in the line of duty my family would be taken care of by the department and my brothers and sisters in blue.
Today, you need to worry about these ANTIFA terrorists who cruise your neighborhoods photographing houses and cars and threatening harm to your families. So how do they do it? I have no idea, but they do it, somehow.
Be sure your wife know you appreciate her for how she copes with these pressures.
Let her know you couldn’t do your job without her.
Let her know how important she is to you.
Don’t take her for granted.
You don’t know what you will have to deal with at work, but you will deal with it.
Your wife doesn’t know what she will have to deal with either, but she will handle it.
Stay safe my brothers and sisters in blue. Run low and zig zag.
Robert Weisskopf (Lt. CPD ret.)
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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To our BROTHERS and SISTERS in BLUE: We have now arrived at the time in the ELECTION SEASON when each of us MUST pay close attention to what candidates are saying. Every person we elect in November can affect our lives as cops. Will we THRIVE, just get by or will we DIE?
- Consider the disaster created in New York by Mayor Bill DiBlasio.
- Look at the number of cops who have been critically injured by the Portland District Attorney, Mike Schmidt.
- We cannot ignore how cops have been blamed for the problems in places like Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Baltimore and other cities where civilization has damned near crumbled.
- Don’t think that school boards are immune. Last Saturday, Steven Lysenko of Spencerport High School, went on a tirade against police officers for targeting protesters in Rochester by yelling, “Fuck the Police!”
- Last, but most important, is the top job: the Presidency. Electing Joe Biden would have a horribly deep, permanent and (in some cases) fatal effect on every cop in the nation.
EVERY ONE OF US MUST PAY ATTENTION AND GET INVOLVED.
OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT.
Thank you for supporting CopBlue.