We’re a little different than some law enforcement couples. We like to joke about our ‘how we met’ story.
We actually met in jail.
I was working intake and he was working the road when he brought in a warrant arrest. And to make it better, he went and found another warrant arrest just to see me again.
Our stars and paths didn’t align until about a year later. We spent a lot of time on opposite shifts. I’d work overtime just in the pure chance of seeing him at work.
We’d hang out in central dispatch; he would bring me dinner. If he had to work and I didn’t, I would meet him and have dinner with him. Our time to grow as a couple was spent with just two hours at a time before one of us went to work.
It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it.
I think when a couple meets as young as we did, the two of you usually support each other through academies and FTO. But, our relationship didn’t know anything besides our crazy hours, crazy overtime, and the crazy stories. ‘Normal people’ wouldn’t understand until they lived it.
When you support each other through the beginning, you learn together. We already knew what the other was going through. We could relate to each other’s work days. I would enjoy hearing about his day and he about mine.
I work in the jail. So, I don’t deal with nearly the same things he does. I don’t have to deal with vehicle accidents. I don’t have to worry about my own safety on a traffic stop. I don’t have to take a report for someone’s son or daughter who has been traumatized by some human monster.
I deal with the criminal-element after they’ve been snagged out on the street. Most of the time, I don’t even hear the details of why they are in jail. Frankly, I prefer to know less.
I remember a specific incident that had occurred that my fiancé discussed with me. I don’t remember the details of the incident, but I do remember the details hit me like a brick wall. We had a conversation where I shared that I might not want to hear the uncomfortable details; the bloodshed or the facts that I just cannot comprehend. However, with that said, he knows I am 100% there for him if he needs to talk about his feelings and emotions that stem from an unfortunate incident. I’ve seen in him the emotional toll that a law enforcement career can have on a person.
READ MORE: TEN THINGS I WANT MY TROOPER TO KNOW
That’s what bothers me the most about the hatred being spewed toward our brothers and sisters. They are humans, who have human reactions to events in their lives. It is healthy and normal to have these types of feelings and emotions.
We hear far too often that the monsters and demons become too much for our officers to handle. Why on earth would anyone want this job? There are officers who are being charged criminally without being given their Constitutionally guaranteed right to due process.
We have public officials who have their own political agendas. They are using the wellbeing of cops as their way of driving their agendas – whether we like it or not. It’s sickening.
It has been reported that some law enforcement agencies have endured a round of blue-flu. I don’t blame any of the cops who suddenly turned-up sick Nor do I blame those who still go to work and do their jobs. When the elected officials put handcuffs on our officers, what else can we expect them to do? How are officers supposed to protect and serve without the necessary tools, training and support?
A young man came in for an MCOLES (state certified) fingerprint where I work, so they can continue pursuing their desired employment as a cop. I know the young man’s dad, so this kid is definitely one of the good ones.
It is refreshing to know that there are still people out there who want to do this job of being a cop. We need people like this kid. We continue to need people who ‘sign up’ for the job.
But, what does ‘signing up’ mean?
- I think it means we sign up to deal with an underfunded budget.
- It means we deal people who need help but don’t want OUR help.
- We deal with drugs and guns.
- We deal with diseases.
- We deal with trauma, both those we help and our own trauma.
- I can assure you nobody signs up knowing their safety is at risk 24/7. And by that I mean, being criminally charged for doing the job the way we were told and taught to do it.
- I believe that our public officials are using us cops as political puppets. I now must take down our blue-line flag in our front yard for our own safety. I must keep our garage door closed so no one sees that patrol car.
- The safety of our kids is in question because everyone in the school district knows what we do for a living.
I suppose, because we both knew what the other’s job entails, we signed up for the bad stuff twice. If we took the job for the money, we both got fooled. Everyone in a police uniform is a human being who happened to have chosen the career of being a cop. We laugh and we cry – just like everyone else.
The last month has been very stressful for me, as a police wife. I saw a blog recently that sought advice for new police wives: ‘What should they do, think and say after their husbands leave the academy and head out to the chaos on the streets?”
READ MORE: YOU HATE MY HUSBAND
But, the most important piece of advice for any police wife is always communicate. Communicate in a healthy way. Have the hard conversations. Have the fun conversations. Have the sad conversations.
Ask questions about their trainings or their partners, if you want to know – or they need to share it. One of the harder questions and conversations we had was about the procedure if my hero is involved in a shooting.
Being a police wife is a different type of responsibility than most wives have. I encourage you to take that responsibility and be proud of it.
If any police wife ever needs anything, or has a question, please reach out to me by email. (My email address is below.)
Find other wives with whom you will have things in common that you can relate to. You are not alone.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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