I am a Police Officer – anonymous contribution (echoed by clients)

“I am a Police Officer.

That means that the pains and joys of my personal life are often muted by my work. I resent these intrusions but it is my job to do the things others fear to do. The label ‘police officer’ creates a false image of who I really am. Sometimes I feel like I’m floating between two worlds

My work is not just protecting and serving. It’s preserving that buffer that exists in the space between what you think the world is, and what the world really is.

My job isn’t like television. The action is less frequent, much more graphic and it involves all my 5 senses. What I Smell, Taste, See, Touch and Hear at these horrific scenes will stay with me long after I close the file. It is not exhilarating to point a gun at someone. Pooled blood has a disgusting metallic smell and steams a little when the temperature drops. CPR isn’t an instant miracle and it’s no fun listening to an elderly grandmother’s ribs break while I keep her heart beating.

I am flattered by your curiosity about my work. What you need to know is I don’t keep a record of which incident was the most frightening, or the strangest, or the bloodiest, or even the funniest. I don’t want to share the images that haunt me with others.

But I do have some confessions to make: Sometimes my stereo is too loud. Music sometimes makes it easier to forget the wasted body of the young man who died alone in a rented room because he was hooked on crack. A hug erases the sight of the nurses who sobbed as they scrubbed layers of dirt and slime from a neglected 2 year olds skin. The anger that beats inside me assures me that it was ignorance that drove a young mother to not put her toddler in a car seat as she drove around today.

Sometimes I might seem rushed or impatient. I am having trouble shedding the adrenaline that kicked in when I discovered that the man I handcuffed during a drug raid was sitting on a loaded 9mm pistol.

Sometimes I’m not as attentive as you would like. I was distracted when you complained about your noisy neighbour because I was remembering the apartment of the elderly women who lay dead and decaying for a week because no one came to check on her.

Sometimes I’m not as sympathetic as you would like. I’m not overly concerned about your ability to pay your speeding ticket, it’s because I really wanted to tell you that I attended a call just yesterday where a speeding careless driver took the life of a child. I didn’t sleep last night because I could still hear her mother’s screams.

Take a moment and remember what my job is and isn’t. Police officers are needed but what we do can leave lasting effects on my family and I. Take a moment and tell an officer that you appreciate their work. Smile and say ‘Hi’ when I am getting coffee. Bite your tongue when you start to tell a ‘bad cop’ story. Better yet, find the time to tell a ‘good cop’ story. The family at the next table may be a cop’s family.

Talk to me as a person next time you see me. I am human.”- Unknown Source