Category Archives: police poem

To Be a Cops Wife

I have some friends who are wives of a Police Officer. Anyone who knows anything about me knows of my limitless support of the Officers who protect us every day. But the wife of a cop also has a lot to deal with. So in honor of my friends who are LEO Wives….

Every morning I watch him put his vest on. Then he places his badge on his chest. He always checks his gun, and makes sure all is in order before he heads out the door for his tour of duty. I silently pray that he has the present of mind to shoot first if he needs too. Even though I know this action may end in his name being degraded in the news and by the public. No one considers his 2 children at home. They only think of the cracked-out delinquent whose family will claim it was an act of police brutality & excessive force. No one considers the 48 hour man hunt he may be on in 100 degree heat, while wearing a ballistics vest & 50 pound rig belt. The public will critize him, for not finding him sooner. No one knows that he watches his children sleep, thinking of the 18 month old he just preformed CPR on. Or the 5 year old that died in his arms, because his mother didn’t think he needed a car seat. We don’t shop in Walmart together. He knows he may see someone he arrested, and for fear of retaliation, he doesn’t want his family to be made. He brings his gun to church. Because even there, he scans the crowd, for someone who may pose a threat. How about that day, he walked into his sons 1st grade class, to rescue a little girl from returning home to a house filled with unspeakable abuse. He spends his paycheck at the thrift store, stocking up in stuffed animals to pass out to the neighborhood kids he encounters everyday. He spends holidays away from us, attends birthday parties in uniform. He leaves in the middle of the night, and can’t explain the call from his lieutenant. He greets a sobing family with terrible news, as he vows to find the perpetrator. He keeps his bible on the front seat. He knows he needs it. So before you critize him laughing at a crime scene, just remember he has to find a way to block it all out. He wears his badge with pride and honor. He serves the greater good, knowing you will never understand the sacrifices he has made. It’s police week! Honor our officers.
via- The Thin Blue Line Coast to Coast

I never dreamed it would be me

I never dreamed it would be me,
my name for all eternity, recorded
here at the hallowed place, alas,
my name, no more my face.

“In the line of duty” I hear them say,
my family now the price to pay,
my folded flag stained with their tears,
we only had those few short years.

The badge no longer on my chest,
I sleep now in eternal rest, my sword
I pass to those behind, and pray they
keep this thought in mind.

I never dreamed it would be me,
and with heavy heart and bended knee,
I ask for all here from the past;
Dear God, let my name be the last.

George Hahn, Los Angeles Police Department, Retired

Confession of a new Chaplain

A friend of mine posted a story on Facebook, and I just had to track down some information on the story. It is one of the most touching stories I have read in a long time.

My friend is a widow. Her husband was an officer who was killed in the line of duty. I must admit, I’ve seen the grief of family who have lost a spouse, but it has been “expected” to some degree. But a sudden loss, where someone has taken from you the opportunity to say goodbye, I can not even begin to imagine how that feels.

As a new Chaplain, some of my duties are easy to understand and fun to do. I use “duties” lightly, because I enjoy it, so it just seems natural to me. I’ll be honest, I do get a thrill in a police car. It’s a great feeling to know that someone trusts you enough to tell you the good, bad and ugly of being a cop. But as tragic as a line of duty death is, for the most part, it happens other places, but not here…not close to me. As Chaplain, I cover Huber Heights, and can provide “mutual aid” to anyone who may need it. But as Doctor Mike, I cover over 400 departments in 3 states. In some of those cases, maybe even most, I would not be able to be there them in person. Then I have to think how I help them grieve from 200 miles away. Honestly, this is the duty I dread. In an ideal world, all the good guys go home. But we don’t live in an ideal world. And when life goes wrong, we are there for the family. I like “being there” for people, and helping people through hard times, and telling people things will be all right. But in this scenario, I can’t say they will be all right. I hope to only help them through the pain that they now face.

There’s training on the “death notification”, and articles by “experts”, so I can know the facts and the techniques. The what not to say, what to say, be direct, but not too direct. Don’t use vague concepts “passed on”, and NEVER give them false hope, but if there is hope, give them some. It’s not easy, but my part in that story is the brief , painful beginning, and theirs is for the remainder of their life. I’ll never forget my pain when Deputy Hopper was killed, but it was small in comparison to her family and the CCSO.

So the story is below. I dedicate this to the large (and growing) number of Law Enforcement and Firefighter spouses who have struggled and still struggle with picking up the pieces and moving on. It’s is spread around the internet (with people changing the name), based on the book “Saying Olin to Say Goodbye” by Donald Hackett.

The time of concern is over. No longer am I asked how I am doing. Never is the name of my partner mentioned to me. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. A life slips from frequent recall. There are exceptions … close and comforting friends, sensitive and loving family. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent. But for me, the play will never end. The effects are timeless. Say Olin to me.

On the stage of my life, he has been both lead and supporting actor. Do not tiptoe around the greatest event of my life. Love does not die. His name is written on my life. The sound of his voice replays within my mind. You feel he is dead. I feel he is of the dead and still lives. You say he was my partner. I say he is. Say Olin to me and say Olin again.

It hurts to bury his memory in silence. What he was in the flesh has now turned to ash. What he is in spirit, stirs within me always. He is of my past, but he is part of my present. He is my hope for the future. You say not to remind me. How little you understand that I cannot forget. I would not if I could. I forgive you, because you cannot know. I strive not to judge you, for yesterday I was like you. I do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. I walk it not by choice. I would rather walk it with him in the flesh. I am what I have to be. What I have lost you cannot feel. What I have gained you cannot see. Say Olin , for he is alive in me.

He and I will meet again, though in many ways we have never parted. He and his life play light songs on my mind, sunrises and sunsets on my dreams. He is real and he is shadow. He was and he is.

He is my partner and I love him as I always did. Say Olin to me and say Olin again.

My Christmas Eve – Retired OSP Trooper Bob Welsh

This poem comes from Retired OSP Trooper Bob Welsh. Trooper Welsh is an inspirational speaker after his retirement, and tells a story like I have never heard before.
You Tube

My Christmas Eve
By Bob Welsh

The hours late, should go to bed
Near midnight I believe
But memories keep me wide awake
This snowy Christmas Eve

Yes, memories of my kids moved on
Each has their separate life
And how the holidays have changed
Since angels took my wife

The toys, the food, the Christmas cheer
My wife would bear the load
Because I work most holidays
State Trooper on the road

Just sitting in my easy chair
So many years retired
I reminisce of times gone by
And all that has transpired

Of all the many happenings
That seem to come to light
A multitude of them occurred
Right on this very night

A drunken woman in a wreck
Died on Christmas eve
Leaves memories of a tragic case
Most people won’t believe

I had to drive to where she lived
To tell her next of kin
And found the rundown mobile home
She had been living in

The person answering the door
I still recall today
A little girl about four years old
She said “I’m Sue McKay”

I asked her if her dad was home
And felt the longest pause
She said “My daddy ran away”
“You must be Santa Claus”

“My mommy said you’d come tonight”
“If I just stayed in bed”
“And bring a pretty doll for me”
“That’s what my mommy said”

I broke the law that Christmas Eve
Did not call child’s care
They’d merely put her in a room
And that I could not bear

I picked her up and took her home
My wife tucked her in bed
And wrapped a pretty doll for her
Just like her mommy said

Adopted by a loving home
And soon they moved away
I won’t forget that Christmas Eve
And little Sue McKay

Another bitter Christmas Eve
A blizzard to behold
Had left a family in a ditch
Just trapped there in the cold

By grace of God I spotted them
All cold and guant with fright
I drove them to a motel room
To safely spend the night

One Christmas Eve a homeless man
Shivering and wet
Was trying hard to get a ride
I’m sure he’d never get

I picked him up and drove him
To a diner on the hill
To warm his bones I left him with
a five dollar bill

Strange how when your all alone
What memories you recall
Your think of everything you’ve done
And was it worth it all

I think about my God, my job
My children and my wife
Would I do it all the same
Could I re-live my life

Then comes a knock upon my door
This late who could it be
A neighbor or has Santa Claus
Come to visit me

The figure standing in the cold
Gives me a sudden fright
A trooper with that solemn look
Dear God, who has died tonight

I’m flashing back to bygone years
How I’d often stood
On someones porch to bring them news
And it was never good

Is this how life gets back at me
For misery I’ve induced
Where pain I’ve caused some other folks
Has now come home to roost

But looking in the troopers eyes
My mind is in a whirl
I see a pleasant countenance
The trooper is a girl

She reached and smiled to shake my hand
And silence wasn’t broke
Until a tear rolled down her cheek
And then she softly spoke

“I’m sure you don’t remember me”
“But thought I’d stop and say”
“God bless you on this Christmas Eve”
“I’m Trooper Sue McKay”

A Cop on the Take – From Missouri State Highway Patrol Chaplains

Taken from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Chaplains’ web site.

First they take … the oath.
Now look at what else they take:

They take … it in stride when people call them pig.
They take … a paycheck realizing they’ll never be rich.
They take … a second job sometimes to make ends meet and support their family.
They take … time to stop and talk to children.
They take … verbal abuse while giving a ticket.
They take … on creeps you would be afraid to even look at.
They take … time away from their family to keep you and others safe.
They take … your injured child to the hospital.
They take … the graveyard shift without complaint because it’s their turn.
They take … their life into their hands daily.
They take … you home when your car breaks down.
They take … time to explain why both your headlights have to work.
They take … the job no one else wants – telling you a loved one has died.
They take … criminals to jail.
They take … in sights that would make you cry.
Sometimes they cry too, but they take it anyway because someone has to.
They take … memories to bed each night that you couldn’t bear for even one day.
They take … time to explain to their family why they can’t make the ball game their child is in and why they have to work on the holiday when other parents are off.
Sometimes, they take a bullet.
And yes, occasionally they may take a free cup of coffee.
If they are lucky, they take retirement.
Then one day they pay for all they have taken, and God takes them.

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.


~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.”