“What do you want to be when you grow up, Easton?” is a question frequently asked of my young son.
“I want to be a State Trooper!” he said emphatically, beaming with excitement and an ear-to-ear grin.
That statement, although only seven words, sends chills down my spine every time I hear my six year old son say them.
I am a corrections officer working in a jail facility currently. My fiancé (Easton’s ‘Bonus Dad’) is a State Trooper and posted in the City of Flint.
Easton has probably had a different upbringing than most kids with both of us being in Law Enforcement. More than likely, that is what has led him to want to be a State Trooper.
My fiancé currently has the Michigan State Police anniversary patrol car assigned to him. Troopers are awarded this special vehicle by winning the Mapes award. That award is tied to having a certain number of felony convictions in your district.
Trying to explain this to a six year old required some creativity when I told him that, to win, “A Trooper must arrest the most bad guys.”
When we attended the ceremony for the Mapes award, Easton’s eyes lit up at the sight of the Michigan State Police Headquarters. He asked why his Bonus Dad must salute certain people but not others. We looked at the some of the items from the history of MSP and we watched with pride as his Bonus Dad received the award from the Colonel.
Having a Bonus Dad, automatically comes with a lot of friends who are also Troopers. Those Troopers are assigned to multiple divisions: K-9, Fugitive Team, Emergency Service Team, Drug Team and the Detective Bureau. We even have a friend who is a pilot in the Aviation division. The list goes on and on.
Easton has already decided: he wants to have the special black car, he wants to be a K-9 Trooper and he wants his Bonus Dad to be his boss.
Fast forward 20 years, or so, and he might think differently.
The reality is that all of this is in the palm of his hands. I can see Easton going into his first day of the Trooper Academy in his white button-up and black slacks with his suitcase ready to take on the world. I can see him graduating and his Bonus Dad pinning that badge to his uniform.
I can see him driving around in that blue goose with such pride.
We spend a lot of our weekend time watching LivePD at the request of our six year old. We play cops and robbers and Easton is always the cop – of course.
His Kindergarten teacher took me aside and explained to me that Easton was patting down kids at recess, while playing cops and robbers. While playing cops and robbers at home, he has found “drugs” on me. They were lifesavers in my pocket.
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We pretend we’re driving a car and he pulls us over for any number of reasons to search our car. He wears his complete cop ‘uniform,’ he handcuffs us and places us in jail (the laundry room).
Should we tone down the LivePD at home? Probably. But that leads me to my concluding thoughts.
Most Law Enforcement Officers know that there are some people who want to do this job for the wrong reasons. Some just want to be a martyr. There are some who come in just do their job and go home safely. There are some who just flat-out should not be in law enforcement.
Then, there are the ones who are born to have this career.
These are the officers who go above and beyond the call of duty and strive to be the best they can be. They are always giving 110%.
My son is only six years old. That’s a fact. He has always been fascinated with police officers – of all kinds.
Before his Bonus Dad came into the picture.
Before our weekends filled with LivePD.
As his Mom, I hope he changes his mind and becomes an engineer or skilled trades worker. As a Law Enforcement Officer, I hope he becomes a State Trooper. There needs to be more who are born into doing this job.
As Easton’s Mom, if that day comes, I will worry. The fact is that his becoming a Trooper isn’t a matter of ‘if’ but rather, ‘when.’
I will never let him see me worry. I will do my best to show him how proud I am of him for achieving his dreams while he’s all dressed-up in that perfectly pressed blue uniform and getting into the blue goose.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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