There has been a lot of bad press about police officers lately, but I’ve noticed a new trend as well. People are taking to social media and sharing photos, videos, and stories of all of the good things that police officers do. I love seeing all of these, but what I don’t love is that so many people act as if they are surprised by this.
They are apparently surprised that police officers are human, that they have good days and bad, and that they achieve great things or even sometimes make mistakes, just like all other humans do. I’m not sure when this happened.
I was raised around law enforcement and I was raised by people who had expectations, so I knew pretty well when what I was doing was right or wrong. I never feared the police. I respected them. And then a few years into my marriage, my husband was one. Not only did I get to see first hand things that I already knew–that dinners would be interrupted, plans would be changed, and phone calls would come in the middle of the night–but, I got to see things only police families really knew at that time. Things like: the pay absolutely sucks, you are never really “off duty,” every piece of trash out there wants to blame you for the fact they suck at being decent, and people will quickly forget that you are even human.
Humanizing the Badge started a campaign to let police officers everywhere know that a lot of people really do care–that we know they are out there doing good in the world, that we know that everything can’t possibly be their fault, and that we really do see them.
I see them every day. Not just the one that I am married to, but the ones that he works with, grew up with, mentors with, and teaches with. I see men and women of all colors and creeds and in different parts of the world, who are trying to do something right. Men and women who want to make a difference. The politicians can lay blame wherever they want. The media can even spread rumors and innuendo without checking facts. There are those of us who know that good police officers are more the norm than bad ever will be. And WE SEE YOU!
We see the vacations that got interrupted, the Christmas dinners that had to be postponed, the birthday parties you didn’t make it to, the exhaustion when you just went to bed after your shift and you got called back out, the nights when you got no sleep at all and still had to stay up for court or a meeting the next day, the dread when you had to tell someone their child was gone forever, the worry for your own children when you knew you had to work and couldn’t be there to watch over them, and the stress when one of your police family was going through a hard time.
We see the half-eaten plates you had to leave at the restaurant, the babies you had to carry away from an abusive home, the children you gave a stuffed animal or some stickers and a high-five to, and all of the stranded motorists you’ve helped out.
We also see you sitting with your back against the wall and scanning the whole room to make sure it’s safe. We see you changing your own tires by the side of the interstate–hot and sweaty in your uniform, vest, and a trillion pounds of gear–because no one ever thinks to stop and offer to help you out. We see you grimace at the next donut joke–because really, who doesn’t love donuts? We see you try to be patient with every single person who walks up asking for advice or telling you their situation.
We see you trying to just be normal at home–trying to switch from “police mode” before you walk through the door or when you are out with us in plain clothes. We see the frustration when you are driving your personal vehicle and people are not obeying traffic laws. (What police spouse has never heard the phrase, “They sure aren’t afraid of getting a ticket!”???) We see the aggravation that every little thing you do–even off duty–is going to be scrutinized by someone, somewhere.
More than that, we see you where it matters. We see you with an insight that all of the haters and naysayers and social media mavens can never even hope to see. We see your dedication. We see your perseverance. We see your heart.
We. See. You. And we love you for it.
**I’m not trying to start any fights, but I have seen enough in the past few months that I feel like I need to make something clear. While I can appreciate that everyone has their own opinions, this is my blog. I paid for it and I do all of the work, therefore, I can approve/disapprove any comments that I wish to. I am very pro-police, so anything that I feel is rude or negative will most definitely not be approved here. There are too many other websites that are happy to hear anything bad that can be said–whether it is real or make-believe–for me to accept that kind of a burden. Therefore, if you “can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all!”