The overwhelmingly popular attitude to have lately is the ‘we hate those nasty cops’ attitude. I’m unique though and therefore I don’t buy into the trendy and hip things.
I am old fashioned a bit and believe in reserving judgement for each individual human. Oh, and I happen to be married to one officer.
I could write a book about my opinions, but today I’m going to write a semi-short blog post only. At least that is my plan. With all the negative media about cops out there, some journalists are trying to highlight these absolutely normal acts as being ‘amazing heartfelt’ things that cops do. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the ones I’m talking about. Cop plays basketball with kids after they get a noise complaint, Cop buys homeless man a pair of shoes and other such stories. Can I just tell you for a moment how very common these acts are?
I’ve known officers to routinely buy lunch for someone hitchhiking, buy shoes for someone who is homeless, fill a tank of gas, get someone a cup of coffee, buy various Christmas gifts for kiddos, cut people a break, etc. The list goes on and on. I should point out any and all of these purchases come from their own pockets, and we know cops are made of money. I always tell people I married for money; that’s why I married a cop, then all of us wives laugh.
My husband and I still laugh about one story in particular. I was working the radio and he was out on the road. There was a gentleman who chose to run in and out of traffic on the freeway multiple times. City officers contacted him and took him to the behavioral health center. He later left because it wasn’t a mental hold and he had the right to leave. He was again running through traffic and somehow lost his shoes. Tom then contacted him, took him to buy new shoes and then let him go. Hours later he committed some offense at a gas station which led to a city officer and Tom contacting him again. He was finally taken into custody and booked into jail, with his new shoes being booked into his property.
On another occasion, Tom and I were working and a family was having car trouble in the middle of a winter storm. They were trying to make it to the other side of the pass to get to a hotel (where I had arranged a free night for them to stay). The family had no money for a tow truck or hotel. The vehicle was having trouble with the vacuum line and it was night time and all the auto parts stores were closed. Tom ended up using a MADD (mother’s against drunk driving) ribbon that the female had and chewing gum to fix the vacuum line for long enough to be able to limp the car to the hotel for the night.
If I could share the pictures of Tom with little kiddos that clung to him as he took each one out of horrible situations and scenarios in the middle of the night while waiting for CPS, your heart would break just like mine. One little one or two year old girl was wandering in the street at 2 in the morning and the only officer she would hang with was Tom. I recall the text message with the picture asking if we could keep her. If only that was how it worked.
If each of these stories for each officer were a news story, our news would be completely flooded with the kindness and compassion of officers nationwide.
On to the rooftop awards breakfast yesterday. Tom was invited due to winning an award from the YWCA domestic violence program. He was nominated because of his professionalism and compassion by an advocate after she spoke with a victim who Tom had contacted the night before. The female had numerous previous domestic violence occurrences with the same male. As much as the female wanted to just drop it, Tom encouraged her and let her know that he wouldn’t drop it. He invited her to look into the options available for her at the YWCA and mentioned what advocates can help with. He also mentioned putting up motion sensor lights and cameras. The advocate said that the next morning she said she only even answered the call because Tom had told her about the YWCA and to expect a call. She said no one had ever taken the time to believe her and encourage changes that would make a difference. She said because of Tom she felt empowered.
People, this is what cops are doing every day and every night, all across the country.
And here’s the proof that one, it was on the rooftop and two, that we looked dang good very early in the morning.
Friends, go forth and thank an officer today.