In This Family...EVERYONE Fights Alone

The phrase "In this Family..No One Fights Alone" simply not true on so many levels.

When officers ride in a patrol car in most jurisdictions, they ride by themselves.  When they receive a call on the radio, they arrive alone.  Yes, backup may arrive a short time later but in most cases...they are alone.  This of course is not what this message is about.  This is a message from a personal point of view..from an officer of 17 years on the police force.  

Yes I do ride in my patrol car by myself and I show up to my calls by myself.  Most alarms I will "check and advise" and although other units hear where I might be; they don't really head my direction unless something catches their attention.  I  spend countless hours in my patrol car by myself as I know many other officers do as well.  We are alone.  Again this is not what this is about...

When I am most alone is when I have only my thoughts to accompany me.  While my family sleeps, I think about the career I have chosen and often wonder if I would be a different person had I chosen a different one.  Would I sleep better?  Would I know what humans are really like?  Or, would I be blissfully ignorant and go through life thinking the world is never really "that bad"?

These battles in my head I fight ALONE.



I call bullshit. 

Security fights alone and if they need help they have to call 911. 

Armed Forces of the United States deal with PTSD and they fight to appear normal after seeing horrible things.  They do this themselves...and try to hide it from the world. 

Corrections?  Really?  They sit in a pod with 60 plus inmates alone and OUTNUMBERED!!  We have all seen the video footage of the Corrections officer being ambushed by inmates.  They are babysitting what you fear the most!   

Ah Law Enforcement...we will get to that in a minute. 

Dispatch?  Dispatch sits by themselves and listens to the screams on the other end of the line...knowing that all they can do is help with their voice and calm a screaming parent while sending the right units to the scene.  Those voices don't go away.  Nobody else hears them.  They are ALONE with that earpiece on. 

Fire - Firemen ride in the truck together and work together as a team but each sees the tragedy from a different perspective that nobody else has seen, or smell things that would make a normal person throw up, or see the light fade in a dead child's eyes.  They will remember that ALONE! 

EMS - One drives and one tries to keep the person alive while bouncing around the back of an ambulance only to drop them at the hospital, go home, and wonder if the person made it or not.  

We (First Responders) ALL wonder if we actually make a difference.  What happens when we really do??  I can tell you from PERSONAL experience.

I saved someone's life last week.   They were dead.  Drowned.  I did CPR and mouth to mouth to a stranger.  Got her spit/throw-up all over my pants.  She started breathing.  When we had briefing with our next shift, my Sargent didn't even mention it.  "It's part of my job."  "It's expected."  "It's what I chose to do."  

You know what else makes you feel alone?  Not getting a "Thank You" and I am not talking about the public.  I am saying that I have received more "Thank Yous" from the people that I arrest more than the people who wear the same uniform as I do and more than anyone else in the world.  

In 17 years at my department, I have received two awards...One for sitting on a perimeter, (you know the "participation" award) and the other for backing up my partner when someone came after him with a knife.  All I did was help get bad guy's cuffs on after we had him down; something I do everyday.  

Who I didn't get a Thank You from is anyone in my department for is the life I saved last week, or the other guy last year, for the woman who I consoled after her husband shot himself in front of the kids, for pulling the child out of the burning car, for picking up the woman's arm that had been taken off in the accident and giving it to the paramedics, for the kid I saved in the car accident about 10 years ago, or the countless hours of overtime, stress, nightmares, horrific memories, visions, smells and sounds that I can not get out of my head.  Nobody says Thank You for THAT!   There are no real Thank Yous in Law Enforcement.  The worst culprit is the department itself. 

We are "pigs" - "racist" - "murderers" - and countless other things but to our departments we are a number.  My job would be posted before my obituary.

Dear Police Departments,    Do you want to know what is going to happen when the cops don't want to work anymore?

You'll be on your own....and... fighting ALONE.

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