Stories for my Officer Friends

I’ve seen these posted over the last few days and thought I’d pass them along.


When God Made Police Officers
When the Lord was creating police officers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And the Lord said, “Have you read the spec on this order?

” A police officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn’t touch, and not wrinkle his uniform.

“He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day.

“He has to be in top physical condition at all times, on running black coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to six have pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands… no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” said the Lord, “it’s the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. “One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, “May I see what’s in there, sir?” (When he already knows and wishes he’d taken that accounting job.) “Another pair here in the side of his head for his partners’ safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, ‘You’ll be all right ma’am, when he knows it isn’t so.”

“Lord,” said the angel, touching his sleeve, “rest and work on this tomorrow.”

“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck.”

The angel circled the model of the police officer very slowly, “Can it think?” she asked.

“You bet,” said the Lord. “It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop… and still it keeps its sense of humor.

“This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim’s family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn’t sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects.”

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the police officer. “There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model.”

“That’s not a leak,” said the lord, “it’s a tear.”

“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.

“It’s for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice.”

“You’re a genius,” said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. “I didn’t put it there,” he said.


The Final Inspection:
The officer stood and faced his God.
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, Officer,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To your church have you been true?”

The officer squared his shoulders and said,
” No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,
Because all of us who carry badges
Can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough,
And sometimes I’ve been violent
Because the streets are tough.

But I never took a penny
That wasn’t mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got way too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I’ve wept an unmanly tear.

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you’ve a place for me here,
Lord, it needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t… I’ll understand!

There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints have often trod.
As the officer waited quietly
For the judgment of his GOD

“Step forward now, Officer.
You’ve borne your burdens well
Come walk a beat on heaven’s streets,
You’re done your time in hell.”


The following was posted to another website by Wayne Hutton, Supervising Investigator, Merced County District Attorney’s Office, California.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

About seven years after I became a cop, a cousin of mine followed my footsteps into law enforcement. He was killed while on duty a few years later. I’d been working on writing something for a while before he was killed. It was some kind of therapy for me I think. I started writing this after one truly horrible day, when I had to wonder “Why I am doing this? Hell, not just me. Why would anyone be a cop?” I finished writing this so it could be read at Michael’s funeral. I’ve shared this with a number of people who thought I caught at least part of what they’ve felt as well. I thought I’d share it here as well.

Wayne

~For You~

I am sometimes asked why anyone would voluntarily do what I do. There’s no simple reason. But, I can tell you that over the years I have learned that there really are people out there that prey upon others; people who hurt, maim, or kill for little or no reason. People who would smash their way into your business, your livelihood; taking your tools, your money, and your way of life. People who would violate your home; leaving the broken bodies and crushed spirits of your family. Taking what they want, destroying the rest.

Who is there to stop them?

Me, and those like me. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can call for us. We are always there for you.

We feel your fear when you’re afraid. We feel your anguish when you cry out in pain. We feel your anger and your despair when you, or the ones you love, are violated. When you lay dying, we hold your hand and then bear the worst news possible to those that love you most. We wear the badges you have given us, but sometimes their weight is so, so heavy.

We have often been questioned or criticized, but we keep going. We have learned to tolerate the questioning of those who do not know, nor ever done, and the criticisms of those who could not, and what’s more would not, do the things you have asked us to do. What else could we do? Quit? Turn our backs on our laws, on our system of rights and justice? Or, turn our backs on you? NEVER! We will not abandon the people we love, or the ideas we hold most sacred and dear.

We have taken oaths to stand against those who steal, hurt and kill. We have seen the broken child’s body, seen death and pain come in their worst, most horrible forms. We have seen eyes full of fear, questioning if the intruder will return. We have stared into the nightmare and we too have been afraid. We have been hurt and injured doing what we do. And, we have attended the funerals of the many that have fallen upholding this line of duty. But, we continue to do what needs to be done; what you’ve asked us to do. Because, we wear the badges you have given us. These badges are symbols of our laws, of your faith in us and of your faith in our society. They are also symbols of our own convictions. Their spirit strengthens us, even as we gather the courage to turn the next corner and enter yet another dark alley.

Everyday parts and pieces are torn from us and left with the victims of our communities. Our hearts go out to them all. But, twenty-four hours a day, everyday, you can call for us. We will pull together the pieces that are left, and we will always be there when you need us.

Is there a better reason for us doing what we do than that we do it for you?

Wayne Hutton, Supervising Investigator, Merced County District Attorney’s Office, California


The following was posted on another web-site by Mike S.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I am a Police Officer

That means that the pains and joys of my personal life are often muted by my work. I resent the intrusion but I confuse myself with my job almost as often as you 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, and more graphic. 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’m not flattered by your curiosity about my work. 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 tell you about my day because I don’t want to share the images that haunt me.

But I do have some confessions to make: Sometimes my stereo is too loud. Andrea Boccelli’s voice makes it easier to forget the wasted body of the young man who died alone in a rented room because his family feared the stigma of AIDS. Beethoven’s 9th symphony erases the sight of the nurses who sobbed as they scrubbed layers of dirt and slime from a neglected 2-year-old’s skin. The Rolling Stones’ angry beat assures me that it was ignorance that drove a young mother to draw blood when she bit her toddler on the cheek in an attempt to teach him not to bite.

Sometimes I set a bad example. I exceeded the speed limit on my way home from work because I had 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 seem rude. I was distracted and forgot to smile when you greeted me in the store because I was remembering the anguished, whispered confession of a teenager who pushed away his drowning brother to save his own life. Sometimes I’m not as sympathetic as you’d like. I’m not concerned that your 15-year-old daughter is dating an 18-year-old because I just comforted the parents of a young man who slashed his own throat while they slept in the next bedroom. I was terse on the phone because I resented the burden of having to weigh the value of two lives when I was pointing my gun at an armed man who kept begging me to kill him. I laugh when you cringe away from the mess in your teen’s room because I know the revulsion of feeling a heroin addict’s blood trickling toward an open cut on my arm. If I was silent when you whined about your overbearing mother it’s because I really wanted to tell you that I spoke to one of our high school friends today. I found her mother slumped behind the wheel of her car in a tightly closed garage. She had dressed in her best outfit before rolling down the windows and starting the engine. On the other hand, if I seem totally oblivious to the blood on my uniform, or the names people call me, or the hateful editorials, it’s because I am remembering the lessons my job has taught me. I learned not to sweat the small stuff. Grape juice on the beige sofa and puppy pee on the oriental carpet don’t faze me because I know what arterial bleeding and decaying bodies can do to one’s decor. I learned when to shut out the world and take a mental health day. I skipped your daughter’s 4th birthday party because I was thinking about the six children under the age of 10 whose mother left them unattended to go out with a friend. When the 3-year-old offered the dog the milk from her cereal bowl, the dog attacked her, tearing open her head and staining the sandbox with blood. The little girl’s siblings had to pry her head out of the dog’s jaws, twice.

I learned that everyone has a lesson to teach me. Two mothers engaged in custody battles taught me not to judge a book by its cover. The teenage mother on welfare mustered the strength to refrain from crying in front of her worried child while the well-dressed, upper-class mother literally played tug of war with her toddler before running into traffic with the shrieking child in her arms. I learned that nothing given from the heart is truly gone. A hug, a smile, a reassuring word, or an attentive ear can bring an injured or distraught person back to the surface, and help me refocus. And I learned not to give up EVER! That split second of terror when I think I have finally engaged the one who is young enough and strong enough to take me down taught me that I have only one restriction: my own mortality

One week in May has been set aside as Police Memorial Week, a time to remember those officers who didn’t make it home after their shift. But why wait? Take a moment to tell an officer that you appreciate their work. Smile and say ‘Hi’ when he’s 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. Yep. ‘Nothing given from the heart is truly gone…’ It is kept in the hearts of the recipients. Give from the heart. Give something back to the officers who risk everything they have. ‘Loyalty above all else, except honor…’


I’m a Cop

An Angel In The Sky Must Leave His Place Of Rest,
Gently Tucking His Wings Beneath His Armored Vest.
For Duty Has Called, There Is Much Work To Do
Little Did He Know, This One Is Dressed In Blue.

Arriving On The Scene, He Knows Just What To Say,
“Follow Me, Fallen Brother, I’ll Show You The Way.”
“Your Duty Has Ended, Your Work Is Now Through.”
“Come Hang Your Hat Beside Mine, I’m A Cop, Too.”


Just a Cop

The funeral line was long, There’s an awful lot of cars, Folks came out of the restaurants, They came out of the bars.
The workers at the construction sites All let their hammers drop. Someone asked. “What is this all for?” And they said, “Aw, just a cop.”
Some chuckled at the passing cars. Some shed a silent tear Some people said, “It’s stupid,” “all these dumb policemen here.”
“How come they are not out fighting crime?” “Or in a doughnut shop?” Sure is a lot of trouble, For someone who’s just a cop.”
They blocked the intersections, They blocked the interstate. People yelled and cursed, “Damn, it’s gonna make me late!”
“This is really ridiculous!” “They’re makin’ us all stop!” “It seems they are sure wastin’ time, On someone who’s just a cop.”
Into the cemetery now, The slow procession comes, The woeful Taps are slowly played. There’s loud salutes from guns.
The graveyard workers shake their heads “This service is a flop.” “There’s lots of good words wasted, On someone who’s just a cop”
Yeah, just a cop to most folks. Did his duty every day. Trying to protect us, Till they took his life away.
And when he got to heaven, St. Peter put him at the top. An angel asked him, “Who was that?” And he said, “Aw, just a cop.”

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