My husband is a police officer. He is brave and scared; he is authoritative and kind.
I am a police wife. I am understanding and protective; I am compassionate and concerned.
We are a police family. We are flexible and unusual; we are proud and tight-knit.
My Husband is a Police Officer
When he started his career more than 10 years ago, things were different. Fresh out of college, he was thrilled to embark on his career ready to make a difference. He lived in a country that supported the efforts of various law enforcement agencies. He didn’t need to worry about being ambushed by a civilian while filling up his squad car at the gas pumps. He didn’t need to consider whether or not his community would support his decisions on duty. He was trained to sympathize with you while taking a report, stay calm while helping you in an emergency, and handle dangerous situations so you wouldn’t have to. My husband is a police officer.
Fast-forward 10 years, experience in a few specialty areas, and a promotion to the rank of sergeant. This job is so much more than trying to make a difference by sympathizing, helping, and handling situations. There are nights that he won’t talk about, as well as stories he loves to share. He grieves with families and fights for justice. He prepares for the unknown and trains for the unimaginable. He supports his coworkers like family and spends holidays with them on duty. He sacrifices his sleep and health to be present and involved in our family. My husband is a police officer.
I am a Police Wife
I proudly gain support from the law enforcement family; a national, perhaps international, family that knows no boundary of agency. I have learned to comfort the emotional distress caused by regular exposure to death and turmoil. I have learned that you can (and will) be sued by people jumping on the bandwagon against law enforcement. I send him off in snowstorms, pouring rain, and blistering heat, thanking him for serving his community despite the weather. I’m so proud of his bravery and willingness to help people in need. I am a police wife.
I pray each night for him to rely on his training, his quick decision making skills, and his ability to comfort those in need. For over half the week, I sleep alone, as does he during the day. While this is a big sacrifice for our marriage, it makes our nights home together that much more enjoyable. I attend many functions alone and often become overwhelmed and embarrassed by being the solo parent who is struggling to keep up. Our family and friends always step in to help with our kids, often bringing tears of stress and gratitude to my eyes. I continue to practice the art of communicating my frustrations appropriately, as I know he needs a clear and focused mindset while on duty. I am a police wife.
We are a Police Family
Our two young boys love the police car, the lights and sirens, the uniform, and tools. But more than that, they love their Daddy. It’s hard for them to comprehend his job, the reason he’s gone at night, and the danger within the job.
“Daddy, do you shoot people?”
“Only if they are trying to shoot me or somebody else, buddy.”
“Daddy, is somebody going to hurt you?”
“I sure hope not. I’m going to try really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
“Daddy, what is jail?”
“It’s kind of like a time out for grown-ups.”
These questions are hard to hear, certainly. But our children are learning far more important lessons in the meantime. They are learning to respect not only the laws of the land, but also the people who enforce it. They are learning that police officers are real people, with kind, genuine hearts, and are some of the bravest people on earth. They are learning that the police do far more than deal with negativity on a regular basis; they buy people gas, groceries, replacement Christmas gifts, and meals, to name a few. They change tires, pray for, hug, and share personal stories to encourage those in crisis. We are a police family.
What You Need to Know
I’m begging you to see the person behind the badge. As with every profession, a few bad apples can stir up a bad reputation for many others who are hard-working and compassionate. Model the behavior you want to teach your children. Do not be afraid, but be kind and respectful. Wave to them while driving, say hi in the gas station, and be polite when interacting with them on a call. Don’t trust everything you hear about them in the media and offer compassion for their situation. Be creative when arranging a get together with your police friends to accommodate their schedules. These officers have a heavy load on their shoulders, a mind constantly focused on self-defense, and a family to get home to. Please be kind to my husband and his brothers and sisters in blue.
My husband is a police officer.
We are a police family.
And I’m so, so proud to be a police wife.
This post is one of our 5-part Police Week series. Be sure to check out the others here:
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