Going through my life, I found this after becoming a radio car operator. I don’t remember when it came into being but since I first found it, I have seen it several times. Please read and you may find something.
Some of you may know my face, but not my name. Most of you have seen me around the city and some have even met me, but not always under the best of circumstances. Some of you have even spoken to me on the phone, when you called me while I was working.
Most of you have an opinion on how my job should be done, but would never take my job if it were the last one on earth. And some of you, who don’t even know me, hate me because of my job. But when I go to my job, I go to make a difference and so I can fight what everyone else fears.
When most would be running away from danger, my job requires me to run towards it. I do this in hopes of making a difference for someone else I don’t even know. Most people say I make too much money, because my pay is published in the newspaper. But don’t think twice about hearing about another sports player sign a 20 million dollar contract for six months of playing a “game”.
Since my job’s base pay isn’t the best I must work extra to pay the bills. Including working extra shifts, on holidays and pick up side work at constructions sites as well on my days off, most still complain thinking I am greedy, but don’t they realize that I , too, must pay taxes, have a mortgage, car payments, and kids in college?
Don’t they understand that I am not paid for what I do, but for what I am willing to do for them? How can you properly compensate someone to risk their own life and face danger everyday they go to work?
And when I go to work I am punched, kicked, spit on and called every name in the book for doing my job. And every night I leave my house to go to work I realize I may not come back home in the morning. Because when I go to work I can be stabbed, shot, drown, fall, be electrocuted, or die in a car accident rushing to help you.
My job also require me to carry special “tools” to help me do my job. Sometimes even while doing my job I have to defend myself from someone attacking me. Although, the newspapers will report to you that I “beat someone down, ” and not that I defended myself from an attack. While at work I must also carry a gun to protect you, but should I have to use it, the media reports to you that I “gunned someone down” or that I “shot and killed” somebody, not that I defended myself. Don’t they realize that I shoot to live and never to kill?
And when I go to work, I wrap a protective vest around me to help keep me safe through my shift. I use this vest so that I will be allowed to live to the end of my workday. And hope and pray that should something bad happen this vest helps keep me alive so that I will be allowed to see my children grow.
When I go to my job, I will see more pain, sorrow, agony, death and destruction in one month than most of you see in an entire lifetime.
And to the ones who don’t know me, I unfortunately will meet most of you at the worst times in your life. You often will call me to come help you out with a problem. But if you have a really big problem you can get me at a special three-digit number and my co-workers and me will race to your house, just to help you no questions asked. All you have to do is call and we will be there for you, no matter what time, day, night or holiday, rain, shine, or blizzard.
Sometimes my job also requires me to deliver lectures, babies and even bad news. I am also the one required to ring your doorbell in the middle of the night, swallow hard and advise you that a loved one will not be coming home tonight, then I spend the rest of my shift wondering why I ever too such a job.
Some people even refer to me as a “pig,” but when I hear that word called to me or one of my co-workers, I think of Pride, Integrity and Guts, which everyone in my profession needs to do this job.
Me and my co-workers must be able to have muscles of steel, have a sense of humor and put ourselves into dangerous situations, face dangerous situations and face danger head on all in a days work.
We must act in a second and make a decision in the blink of an eye and spend the rest of our life hoping we made the right choice in that split second. If not we can be arrested and charged with breaking a law, be sued for violating someone’s rights, or end up with an even worse fate.
What, you ask is my job? I am your local police officer. And what do I ask in return for doing all this and risking my life for you? Nothing at all, because it is my job and my hope of being the one who makes a difference.