Saturday, April 04, 2009
SAD AND MADDENING
Early this morning 3 more police officers were killed in the line of duty. Not long ago it was 4. This is absolute madness. When I first married BigD, all my relatives and friends asked my if I was sure I wanted to marry a cop. They asked me if I worried all the time. They advised me that cops have a high suicide rate. An even higher divorce rate. I did stop and think about it...for about 3 minutes....and decided that none of us knows what will happen tomorrow and why would I want to not marry someone because of a what if situation. But, and it is a big but, times have changed since 1981. You can't go more than a week or two without hearing about another officer (or multiple) being killed while doing their jobs. Traffic stops and domestics carry the highest chances of death for an officer. It used to be an honorable job, and to most people it still is, but it also has become a job where "the bad guy" really doesn't give a shit anymore. The bad guys have changed. They used to get caught, do their time and either change or not. Now, they have no intention of coming out alive. They just don't care. There are gangs that have initiation rights of passage where killing a police officer garners them a higher ranking in the gang. Of course the mentally ill are in the mix too, being unclear of right and wrong. BigD and I sat there this afternoon watching the press conference from Pitts*burg and we both realized that the two officers that were injured, and not killed, were most likely being treated at the same place where BigD had his surgery last fall as it has a great trauma center. It's kind of weird knowing that the ER we walked passed several times every day, was tending to two officers that responded to backup the first three, and saw the carnage of their brother officers, two were shot in the head...so the vests they were or were not wearing, were of no use. These two, even though they were injured and not killed...they will never be the same. You simply cannot see your friends fatally wounded and go on as normal. I will be very surprised if they don't have issues for a very long time. I am not glorifying all police officers. There are bad cops, just like there are bad plumbers, pilots, teachers, doctors...and on and on. But, I will tell you that it is a close knit group. We can go to any city, anywhere, and are welcomed by the cops in that town, like we are friends. It is a fraternity, a brotherhood, a group that is bonded by seeing the horrific at a moments notice. They hold dying teenagers, thrown from a car, while waiting for an ambulance or helicopter to arrive. They walk up to cars, in the middle of the night, to tell the driver they have a taillight out and have no idea if the occupants just robbed a store and think the officer knows...when he doesn't...and decide they need to shoot him. There are so many frightening scenarios that seem to have become the norm rather than the unusual occurrence. We happen to have 4 officers in our family and two of my three want to follow in their dads footsteps. All those years ago when people were asking me if I was sure I wanted to marry a cop, I never thought about being a mother of one and now....I will be worried.