Yes, I am married to a cop. The po-po. Johnny-Law. The fuzz.
I am proud to my core of who she is. I am terrified to my soul for what she does.
Don’t get me wrong, this takes nothing away from our military men and women. I admire and support every move they make. I sleep sounder knowing they protect me.
However, tonight, as we have every night this week, we have worked on a Class A uniform. Her dress uniform. For a funeral tomorrow. A funeral for a fellow officer. He didn’t die in the line of duty, but it doesn’t matter, he would have. Just as she would.
So it’s been a week of new uniforms, new service bars and sergeant stripes and medals. Of fittings, alterations, cleaning and polishing. I sat tonight, making sure the buttons were just so, the epaulettes and seams are straight. It matters to her. It matters to the officers that have worked beside him for many years. It’s a sign of respect. A sign of dignity.
It’s a sign of fear and sadness for me.
I am saddened by the effect this has had on her. My wife worked alongside this man for 21 years. I am saddened in the story as it was relayed to me. The images I created in my mind, the emotions that I felt and helplessness of many who tried to help.
My wife is a police officer. Her father was a police officer. Her brother, a police officer. Many in her family have served or are serving bravely in the military. I am as proud of each of them as I am of her. I am honored to call them my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, my nephews….this family is honor bound.
My wife is a police officer. Which means, when there is danger, while others run from it…she runs TOWARDS it. It’s innate, it’s not for the weak. Officers…they don’t let fear control them. They don’t worry that they don’t KNOW the person they are saving, taking a bullet for or from. It’s their job.
To say she is a police officer is as natural to say as her name. I can’t imagine her being anything else.
I was reminded today, by another officer, that it’s not all good cop/bad cop. It’s not like the movies. That these men and women, they take an oath…to serve and protect. To remain as objective as they can, to see all sides possible and to resolve a situation as quickly and as peacefully as possible.
Today, this officer, came to the defense of someone he didn’t know. He listened to both sides of a story and didn’t overreact; he offered advice and assistance to someone who was stuck in a bad situation. This same officer, earlier this year, helped me. And seeing him made me feel safe.
When a former employee threatened my life early last year, the wife encouraged me to contact the local authorities. This officer came, took my statement and told me to not leave alone, not leave late and if I felt at all threatened, to contact him, leaving me his card and cell phone number. And for about 30 days after that, I would walk out to find him or another officer, waiting for me in the parking lot, watching me get in my car, wave and follow me to the freeway, ensuring I was safe. He didn’t have to, nor did he have to have anyone else do so, but it’s the serve and protect. He didn’t know me, I was just another face…but I bet he would have taken that bullet for me.
My wife is a cop. She’s 5’3″ of fearless compassion. She will give her last dollar to the homeless lady that needs a cup of coffee. She stops on the street to help someone who’s battery has died in the middle of the summer…to jump start their car and make sure they get on the road.
She’s not the only one like that. There are many more in my life now, they do the same thing. Sometimes even more.
We hear stories everyday of officers have taken the wrong path. Of officers that abuse their authority. It’s the adage, “one rotten apple spoils the whole bunch.” Think about it….there are THOUSANDS of police officers that do the right thing, that make the right calls….and we hear about the few that did the wrong thing. And we look at all of them differently.
Think of the first responders of 9/11….police officers, fire fighters….they didn’t run from the smoke, the unknown….they ran towards it. To see who they could help. To figure out WHAT had happened.
Think of how we teach our children….if you get lost, find an officer, he will help you. When does that advice of safety become the fear of the officer in the car behind us?
How many times do we call 911 for help, yet, get pissy about the “po-po” for following the law?
Who do we call when we hear a bump in the night? Who comes to our rescue? Hint: it ain’t the Ghostbusters.
Yep, tonight, I am reminded that I am married to a police officer.
Tonight, I am reminded that my life is profoundly safer because of these men and women.
Thank you all.