Married to an Officer

Merry Christmas! Since my husband is working tonight, I’m going to ride with him. I wrote this post/rant a couple of years ago, but it is still something I need to share every now and then. While everyone is spending time with their loved ones, please take a moment to pray for law enforcement tonight.

Here’s the post:

Yes, this title could also be: married to a doctor, firefighter, lawyer, and many others. But, I am not married to any of those, so my post is about police officers.

Unless you’re in the same situation, you don’t really know what it is like to be married to one. I worked at a police station for 2 years in college, which included going out on ride-a-longs = awesomeness. My husband knows that I know that my experience (my degree in Criminal Justice & Law degree) obviously don’t mean that I completely understand what he deals with everyday. However, I’m SO grateful that I have those experiences because when he talks to me about his day, I understand exactly what he’s talking about. I’ve even learned some 10 codes :-).

I could be up all night worrying about whether he’s safe or not. I don’t because it’d drive me crazy. My husband is thoughtful and communicates with me via phone call or text messages as often as he can. Of course it’s not possible when he’s on a call, but he does his absolute best to be in touch with me so I know he’s okay. I’m grateful for cell phones!

His job can be hard on us. My husband does not work normal hours. I don’t get to spend time with my husband every night and every weekend. For you ladies out there whose husbands travel, you know how hard it is. The Sheriff’s Office he works for schedules them to work in 12 hour, rotating shifts. For example my husband works nights which = 5p.m. to 5a.m. He works 3 days, off 2, works 2, off 3, on 2, off 2, works 3. Sounds confusing, but when you look at it on a calender it’s easy to figure out & plan around. Basically he works every other weekend. When he works days, the rotating schedule is the same but he’s at work by 5a.m. and gets home after 5p.m. But there will be years where he might work all of the holidays… or half of them, or none at all. It depends upon the day of the week they fall on. For example, this year he worked Thanksgiving. Thankfully he has Christmas off. (For the past 2 years, he’s had to work every single holiday.)

We do what we can to work with his schedule. It makes it difficult to make plans with friends & family who usually don’t have the same schedules that we do. God is our number one priority, then our marriage is. We work hard at making it work. We have to make sacrifices that a lot of people don’t have to deal with.

So, it aggravates the heck out of me when I hear people say bad things about police officers. Let me be clear on this: NO PROFESSION/CAREER EXISTS WITHOUT BAD EMPLOYEES. We hear often about how a police officer screwed up (or the media made it look that way), etc. But there are bad doctors, nurses, firefighters, military, lawyers, employees of the IRS, the DMV, priests, teachers, artists, retail managers, car sales people, receptionists, financial advisors, accountants, and hello, our own government! I could go on and on. Anyone who’s ever had a job has known a employee or employer who didn’t always do what they’re supposed to.

We know this because that’s why we have procedures, rules, laws, and other policies in place to keep people in line with what most of us believe should or should not be done. Yes, police officers make mistakes – some on purpose, and most, not so much. Often times they have only two seconds to make a decision. Would you do your job well 100% of the time if you had only 2 seconds to make every decision, and sometimes with a gun in your face? I highly doubt it.

By the way, TV cop shows AREN’T REAL. Neither are the ones about lawyers. TV shows & movies get the constitution & the law WRONG most of the time. It bugs me when people claim to know the law and police procedure based off of what they see on TV.

Our officers are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc etc etc. Most officers are fantastic cops. My husband is an excellent one, and if you know him you will know that I’m not exaggerating. He will pull you over if you speed past him. I will commend him for it. He would risk his life to save yours. Please don’t let your bad experience with one cop allow you to stereotype all officers. I had a dentist ruin 3 of my teeth & I’ve spent thousands of dollars getting them fixed. I couldn’t sue for a couple of reasons; but, you don’t hear me telling the whole world that all dentists are greedy, incompetent, or bad people.

Police officers (and the rest of law enforcement) choose to put their lives on the line every day for everyone. Especially the people who hate cops. That irritates me the most. My husband has told me stories of people who love to complain about cops, UNTIL THEY REALIZE THEY NEED ONE. Then they’re pretty grateful. Think about a time at work when you had to deal with a difficult person, or people. You get to leave it at the end of the day. My husband goes to work when you are getting home. Now he’s got to deal with that person while they’re high, wasted, beaten up their spouse, kids or pets, hurt themselves in a suicide attempt, smashed to pieces on the pavement because they were driving too fast, or murdered, stole a car, or shot another officer. He has to deal with nasty stuff that most people never know about…and every day.

Think about how difficult your job would be if in the back of your mind, you knew that you could be killed doing it. Even mere traffic stops are dangerous for them. Officers never know the kind of person they are going to confront when they pull someone over. Or those dreaded 9-1-1 calls to domestic violence situations. The officers sign up to do it to protect people like you and me, and yet you have the NERVE to complain about them. Wait until some perpetrator breaks into your house, or tries to rob you, or kidnaps your kid, or rapes you, or hits your car because they drank too much. You will be more than grateful that an officer was there to arrest the perp, or saves your life, or end the violence, or finds your missing person. I hope that the above situations don’t happen to anyone. But we live in an evil world and bad things happen. I pray that you don’t suffer through one of these situations before you’re grateful for police officers.

And OH MY GOSH, stop complaining about your speeding ticket or the time you were arrested for marijuana possession. You know you were speeding. You know that it’s not oregano. You got caught. There have been numerous times when you were speeding or a whole host of other traffic violations & didn’t get caught. You broke the law. You have to suffer the consequences of your actions every now and then. Now get over it.

I say it often, and I’ll say it here: I AM PROUD TO BE MARRIED TO A POLICE OFFICER.

So, if your spouse works hard, does what’s right in the face of opposition, helps people, is faithful, comes home to you after any length of absence, tell the world that you’re proud! We need to let everyone know about all of the good stuff that isn’t on the news. Even if they’re one in a million who does the job right, we need to praise & encourage them to keep at it! Feel free to start by posting on this page 🙂

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