What is a Law Enforcement career? Service to the community, the dedication to the brothers and sisters in blue, or is it the fulfillment of something more personal.
I have spent a lifetime, a career of walking that thin blue line; life and death, justice, and injustice, the moral and immoral. I have been both a participant and spectator, observing humanity through more than one windowpane. I have seen the love and joys of life, but more often than not, the horrors of life’s strains. These images permanently engraved in the consciousness of my soul. My mind is weary, and my heart is heavy as these horrific scenes revisit me while I sleep as an uninvited guest. These experiences’ attribute to my cynical cop perspectives I keep suppressed. I look for the joyful things in life, my beautiful loving wife, her smile and joy of life. Family and children are our life. Even our Labs’ give all the loyalty they have.
I question myself as to the price that has been paid for the choice of my profession. My wife who must listen intently to my rants and renditions, much too often she wakes me from nightmarish conditions. She fearfully awaits that knock on the door, as she prays to God for his blessings to cover us all. She lies next to me comforting me through all these years, all the while she lives quietly with her own fears. She accepts this position, for she too lives the cop profession.
Our children cried with disappointment; I could not make that most important appointment. Those moments in time which shape their lives; begrudgingly they accept it with just fact and no white lies. Important conversations are conducted by phone; family photos are taken with me silently absent and alone, they serve as a ghostly reminder as they are displayed upon the hearthstone.
We tell our children; Daddy is an Officer he makes the world safe, as we teach duty, honor, and faith. With pride inside and head held high they sing my praise, often to friends it brings dismay. They try to understand and accept their fears, when news erupts of an Officers death it brings them to tears. Their innocents shattered by the reality of the world, filtered through thoughts and war stories told at police parties and dinners.
The ever consuming emotional and psychological toll, the politics of this profession continues to shape my soul. Departmental politics which impedes the ability to achieve, it crushes their ideas, goals, and dreams. The judicial system that is truly blind, the victim continues to be victimized and the officer’s diligence is bought and sold by those who guard that thin blue line.
Heroes are those who have gone before, they have paid the ultimate price of this war. I have folded that flag for some; I pray that it was a job well done. I have answered that cry for help in the dark of the night, where evil men hide their face away from the light. I have run into the fires of danger and emerged victorious; I have executed my duties meritorious. I ask God for his blessings to those in need. I pray for my family, may they forgive me, love me for what I am, and please know I have done the best I can. I often wonder what have I changed, did I save lives, or did it remain the same? Did I just postpone the inevitable or make great change? Did I teach the rookies well, have they made the grade? Was my purpose fulfilled and did I honor my father’s name? A lifetime spent working in just one lane; I pray to the Lord that I made some change.