Category Archives: Police

You Can Support the Badge without Supporting the Bull#%$

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This post comes from a personal place. I have long been a supporter that prejudice and racism exists way more than it should in subtle and not so subtle ways. I have had tough conversations and lost friendships over that position. Attended hours of diversity training as I look inside my biases and views that affect my teaching students of color. It is hard to open your eyes to white privilege, but not nearly as hard as navigating life as a black person in America.

It is equally personal because I was a police wife for 10 years. Never being able to post my husband’s face or uniform, getting threats to hurt me because I am married to him, the uncertainty of attending his funeral every day he goes to work. Meeting some of the best humans around that give their lives to community service, but never feeling safe. The two roles have some similar threads and yet are often put on one side or the other.

You either are for or against me.

You either love or hate me.

You either ride or die.

I love the #ThirdOption movement that says what if there is another way and you don’t have to choose. In my own words for the movement “What if you can Back the Blue but not the Bullshit?”

As we explore this #BlackLivesMatter the core seems to center around systems and policies that are failing people of color. Corrupt officers allowed to get a paycheck, targeting, profiling…a system that is very similar to education in their funding, their leadership and practices. A system that struggles to get qualified applicants to fill the number of vacancies. A system that lacks in crucial training to practice the best and up to date techniques. Employees overrun with exhaustion, mental health issues and limited resources to fully do the job they are called to do. A system that has a HUGE disparity in population vs. employment…meaning more black students and less black teachers. A system with unions that make it nearly impossible to get fired and a system where steps are how the employees get paid not proficiency.

I am not saying officers have it harder or that they are the victim here. Black Lives are being overlooked. That officer is a murderer and not the first one. Parenting a black son should be as safe as parenting a white one and it is not. But maybe we can support the majority of good officers while also declaring the policies and procedures need to change. We cannot let skin color determine consequence. Policing is here to stay so we must seek the third option of how we can make changes and create laws and hire chiefs and city leaders that will fire and filter the multitude of officers that do not deserve to wear the badge, but make no mistake it is not ALL…let these bodies be the beginning of burying the bull#%$ that cost them their lives.

I believe God will use this moment in time to do something big and we all need to do our part to make this moment in history count.

New Normal Update

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One of my last posts, I mentioned my husband considering leaving the police force. The pic above was his last day on the job. He officially resigned in October and began his new job in medical sales in November.

Pros: works M-F, off on weekends and holidays, he has a normal routine, his body is rested, we can make plans as a family, good pay and benefits.

Cons: he sells hospice so he deals with death daily, the medical field can be daunting, his company is having some growing pains, we lost our fun summer days together, he cannot see him doing this the next ten years.

So although on most levels, things are better…he still has not found what he is looking for in life. Amazing how he can do 10 years in one field, but not even get to one in another.  It all comes down to purpose and I pray he finds his.

A Few of my Favorite Things-Lipsense

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I found this gem after my cousin began selling it. I always try to support a small business so I agreed to order one and expected to be done.  However I fell in love and you can see the addiction above.

I love it because it stays all day. Seriously…all day.  Other than reapplying a clear gloss, no mirror needed for touch ups.  Swimming, working out, teaching all day-it stays!

Second, no kissing or sipping off. I hate to see my lipstick all over cups or straws and this lipstick solves that dilemma.

Finally the most important is that it does not get on my teeth. I know this is a personal one, but all my lipstick get on my teeth.  Fat lip? Inverted smile? No clue, but it is so frustrating when others have to tell me to wipe my teeth.  It leaves me self conscious and embarrassed.  I never have to worry with Lipsense! 

I purchased only warm colors that go with my skin tone and you can mix or match for unique shades.  No doubt the costs add up, but I was previously purchasing 20 dollar lip color and it left me with discolored lips, so I was ready for a change.

Stay tuned for more of my Favorite Things coming soon!

 Moving On with A New Normal

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As I sit in a hotel directly across from the Dallas Police Station, I am reminded of how quickly life can change.  When I booked this hotel a month ago, this area was perfectly safe and uneventful.  It is across from the police, so it was almost extra safe…and then the events of July 7th happened and this spot became a target.  Later, this same spot would become a memorial and a place to honor and grieve.  Today, it is a place for normalcy as people move on, but changed forever.

On Tuesday, the last DPD officer funeral was conducted in Michigan. My husband was fortunate to get a ticket on the plane provided by Southwest to carry the officers to pay their respects.  It humbled us how this airline treated them like celebrities providing full meals and hugs to make a difficult journey better.  After attending my first officer funeral, I will forever be changed.  He will continue going to work as normal, but I will never see his job the same.  My eyes and heart have been opened to the dangers as officers continue to get shot daily. 

 I hope that time will not desensitize us to the tragedy of losing your life for your job, but the more it happens the more it seems to be our new normal.  As much as I am proud of him and the role he serves, for the first time he has talked about doing something else and I cannot blame him.

The Good, The Bad, and the Are you Serious? of being married to a police officer

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After reflecting on these nine years of my husband working as an officer, I can sincerely say this list pretty much sums it up for me:

The Good:

1.They look hot in uniform.  They just do. But that uniform also makes them very hot (literally) and sweaty.

2.They (or at least mine) stays in shape.

3. I always feel safe..like he can kick anyone’s butt at anytime.  It is sexy sleeping next to a trained shooter with combat skills.

4.The only other women he is around at work are female officers and prostitutes so not a whole lot of jealousy.

5.They actually get a lot of time off and paid for their overtime (this is a teacher talking).

 

The Bad:

  1. They work holidays, birthdays, game days and pretty much every other important day that matters to you.  Forget plans and calendars.
  2. They leave your house with a gun and bullet proof vest. (The gun goes everywhere including and especially to church.)
  3. Their work gear and uniform seems to be everywhere and takes forever to put on correctly-I have seen guns and socks on the same kitchen counter (before kids). Another wife mentioned how loud Velcro can be (ha!!) and I would like to add how tricky those button covers are as well…little pieces just everywhere and always needing to be washed or dry cleaned.
  4. Deep nights means black out curtains and never being rested. Speaking of sleeping…night terrors are real.  I have to be careful not to wake him suddenly because he could be dreaming of being attacked and someone is getting hit (I took night feedings).  I have heard some helpless cries in his sleep wondering what is going on in his head-I just held him tighter.
  5. The stuff they see, hear and live every day is beyond me.

The Are you Serious?

  1. A good day at work involves a shooting or gruesome accident..a bad day is no calls and nothing happened…really????
  2. Due to today’s climate, I can’t post pics of him in uniform on FB, his social media name is concealed and changed and he pretty much does not want to be identified as an officer.  He gets legit death threats on his life and the life of his family all because he does his job. Also, the current divorce rate of an officer is around 72% last I checked…does not surprise me–their job is not easy.
  3. When someone special comes into town like the president, that means a 12-16 hour workday without notice.  This is also true of any major sporting event in our city. I know some may say 20 hour workdays are the norm for my husband..but in all that gear and hot uniform?
  4. His shift, station and duties can change at any time with or without notice and you just go with the flow.  He literally comes home some days and says “for the next two months… I will be working at this this time etc.”  You just get used to rearranging your schedule and going with the flow.
  5. He has to constantly live in fear of getting in trouble.  If he is at the wrong place at the wrong time, it will be plastered all over the Internet.  We always have a DD (that is smart anyway) and we choose our friends wisely.  If you make a mistake, get ready to read about it because the consequences are on you and everyone will know.

I am sure this list will grow and change as the years go on, but any officer wife or husband to be fair can relate to this!  We love our officers, but life with them ain’t easy–but so worth it!

 

The good news is: Officer wives are not weenies!2013-03-06 18.45.30

July 7th,2016

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I have to go back nine years ago when my husband first entered the police academy for Dallas…July 11th, 2007 to be exact.  After a year of never ending tests, physical challenges and basically a boot camp style mental beat down–he finally got his badge.  Later came his recruit stage where he followed another officer…then two man and finally one man where he could officially patrol alone.  I was so proud of all his hard work and mental toughness, but then came the hard part where I had to be mentally tough.  He started his career working deep nights and has never stopped which meant I had to get use to sleeping alone and being by myself at nights.

I did not start off being very good at it.  In fact I was straight up paranoid.  I would pace the house and look out each window.  Turn the TV up loud so others thought there was talking..would jump at every sound especially when people would ring the doorbell and run (we had a few night of this-terrifying).  I would have my Bible handy at all times, recite scripture and kept the phone glued to me.  I was anxious, afraid and paranoid and had to get over it quickly or get sick from exhaustion.  With lots of prayer, I got used to it and have ended up pretty good about it now.  Many other wives tell me they could never fall asleep alone…but when you have no choice you learn to do it.

One way I learned to do this though came at a cost.  I could not watch the news at night and I could not watch crime shows of any kind either.  I learned that the hard way.  I would have nightmares for days along with hearing noises, so I learned to watch happy shows or keep the TV off.

Jump to this week…July 7th, 2016.  We now have a kid so my nights are not alone anymore which is helpful.  But now instead of worrying for just my safety I have a little one’s to worry about as well.  I always fear the “what if” emergencies, but for the most part we have relaxing evenings at home and do whatever we want.  On this night, I was watching recordings of Million Dollar Listing while my son played with the Talking Tom cat app on my phone.  We were going about our business happily until I took the phone to check for messages which I often do in case my husband texts while at work.  I saw three messages so checked them real quick.  All three were from friends or neighbors asking “Did Nathan have to work tonight?  Is he okay?”

I had no clue what they were talking about and replied with those words of curiosity.  They both seemed shocked and said turn on the news.  One even tried to call and tell me in person, but I hate talking on the phone and avoided it.  I turned to channel 8 and immediately saw what everyone was worried about…Dallas officers were ambushed and under attack.  The city was in chaos and all you could hear and see was panic with officers in position to find a shooter. Now, my husband does not wear a uniform to work so I knew the ones in uniform were not him, but he could be anywhere in Dallas at that moment.  His job requires plain clothes, but basically to do whatever is necessary and whatever is asked.  This job ranges from the very safe to the extremely dangerous so to speculate if he was there or what he was doing was beyond me.  I also had no clue when this all started, but I knew he had not contacted me whatever that meant.  With shaky hands, but trying to be positive and strong I sent him the text “I see the news.  Are you okay?”  In what would be the longest minute of my life, he finally responded.  “Yes…but can’t be on my phone right now.”

Those words were sweet relief followed by lots of questions that could not be answered for hours to come.  I immediately started to let the ones contacting me that I heard from him and he is okay.  I then went through the painful process of watching the TV to see what was going on, but not wanting to watch the TV because I had a son present that hears random things though is still too young to understand (thank God!).  In between that, I kept in touch with worried friends and social media.  Hour after hour the news stories, the death count, the injuries and the events of that night played everywhere.  I kept watching for my husband not knowing where he was at or what he was doing. One officer put in nicely “That would have been awful to be at home not knowing what was happening…at least we knew what was going on.”  Exactly!!   An hour later I texted again…”I know you can’t be near your phone but keep in touch.”  He would later tell me about more shots being fired and being in a car chase, but still okay.  At one point, I did not hear from him in a couple of hours and all I could think is “If he is hurt, would he tell me?”  He does a great job of shielding me from his job especially since he works nights and does not want me to worry.  I began to doubt if I knew the whole story or what parts he would tell me…trying to accept what is happening while keeping your mind on things positive is hard.  I prayed, quoted scripture and just thought happy things.  When I had had enough of the news…we turned it on to Disney.  Disney was our happy place…Sheriff Callie saved us.

A friend would later text that her husband spoke with him and he is good so that gave me peace of mind.  Even though it was well after midnight…I could not sleep.  Could not rest…felt so anxious and stiff with a knot in my stomach.  Nothing made me feel better, but I still had a child to entertain and discipline when he sprayed Windex everywhere and broke a plate.  He was a much needed sweet relief to the range of emotions I was feeling.  Facebook was also a relief kinda…in between random opinions I would get sweet words of encouragement…all of our friends and family were checking on us-that is what is good about social media.  My husband even posted he was good, but unable to respond–that brought lots of sweet comments.  Finally, around 2am he texted he was going back to the station and might be home on time…then and only then I tried to rest.  I eventually fell asleep, but when he came home I went in the kitchen and hugged him before laying my head down to really sleep…we all woke up the next day close to noon after such a long night.  I was thankful my husband came home and I did not receive the dreaded phone call…but my heart ached for the women and families that were not so unfortunate.

Now here is where I get real.  The main thought that kept going through my mind that night was “I did not kiss him goodbye.”  On that dreadful night, we were on night three of a much heated argument.  You see being married to an officer, working opposite work schedules in addition to already having a rocky marriage from past incidences..those that read my blog previously know what I am talking about…all that can weigh down a marriage.  I have no idea how we have lasted 12 years with all the odds stacked against us…I do know how…Jesus and lots of him.  But on this night, we had attended my son’s swim lessons, my husband was the parent in the parent tot class (yes, he did ring around the rosy with the other moms).  Since we were not on speaking terms, at the end of the class I told him “be safe”..funny how you remember those details…then took our son home while he went to work.  The entire night I kept thinking “I did not kiss him goodbye-I have to get another kiss.  He cannot die tonight.”   I am sure some might say “He was not likely going to die”, but I am sure the other wives thought that as well.  A new rule in this house is no matter how mad we get-we kiss goodbye–no matter what!

Flash forward to today, the new challenge each day is walking the fine line between over-talking about it and not talking at all.  I want our home to be his happy place and his normal knowing that he hears enough of it at work.  The tragedy allowed us to talk a lot of things out and cry some much needed tears while recommitting to work harder to meet each other’s needs despite the tough challenge ahead of us.  Him going to days is nowhere in sight and my job as a teacher does not work nights so we must make it work.  I committed to listening more about his daily struggles without freaking out and he committed to opening up more-it is the only way officers can be able to do this job without losing it.  We have watched the news together and kept up with current events including attending a funeral later this week.  It comes down to I am here with whatever you need, but our home is base and it is safe.  Talk as much or as little as needed…just know I am here.

I struggle seeing those officers’ faces knowing it could have been my husband, but by the grace of God was not.  I also struggle to feel safe that if it is not him now..could it be him later?  All those thoughts are real and just, but the truth is none of us know tomorrow so we must live for the moment now.  We must love with full hearts and do what God has predestined us to do while we have the time to do it.  I will never forget July 7th 2016.   I grieve with Dallas and for the DPD.  I am proud to be an officer wife and never more proud to be a Texan.  This was easily the worst night for me being married to an officer, but also one of my proudest nights knowing he was serving and protecting our city despite all the what-ifs and oh nos.

The good news is: “Some people never get to meet their heroes; I married mine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a police officer’s wife

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I am a police officer’s wife.
We prayed together about the application process which included psychological evaluations, physicals, fitness tests, character witnesses, background checks, references and multiple rounds of interviews and assessments.

I am a police officer’s wife. I celebrated when he got the call that he was accepted into the academy even though it meant nine months of training, early morning classes, late nights of studying, weekends preparing equipment, stressful tests that determined your future, constant scrutiny and always being evaluated physically, mentally and emotionally to push you until you break then would dismiss you immediately if you did. You learned to handle the pressure. You learned not to break.

I am a police officer’s wife. I threw a party for his class the night they received their badges. They remembered the times of bonding and learning and growing as they were trained to do this job of criminal justice. They discussed their new locations, hours, trainers and divisions before all going their separate ways knowing they would be connected for life. An experience never to be forgotten.

I am a police officer’s wife. I hug him through a bullet proof vest when he leaves the house, consider his guns as work tools, sleep alone as he works nights, endure black out curtains as normal living, eat meals with him when I can knowing he is not always home for dinner, suffer through weekends and holidays alone and am constantly aware his shift could change at any time including his days off, location and job description. As he gets new promotions, he goes right back to the bottom of the list with the worst days off and odd hours and all that is a reward for being successful. My son and I always hug, kiss and tell him we love him as we know with his job that good bye could always be the last…for real.

I am a police officer’s wife. I refuse to watch the news as it is safer for me not to know, recognize he probably leaves out the bad parts of every story, can never sneak up on him unannounced, get jolted in my sleep when he yells out during a nightmare, strategically plan where I sit in a restaurant so he can face the door, a good day at work includes a chase or robbery or arresting a felon, being terrified when he does not answer the phone when I call or comes home late. I question his pride but realize that pride and quick decision making is what brings him home in the morning.

I am a police officer’s wife and I honor that he is doing what he loves and trust God’s protection over him at all times knowing he is safer in God’s will doing a dangerous job than he could ever be out of it doing a safe job. I treat him like the hero that he is in our four walls knowing outside of them he is cursed out, spit on, disrespected, and threatened by people that called him for help.

I am a police officer’s wife and know not every officer is good, but my husband is or tries to be along with all the other amazing people that are willing to die with him or for him in his field. It is a family that sticks together even under attack and for that I am a proud woman. I am a police officer’s wife and I would not have it any other way.