Tuesday, July 21, 2009

who ARE you?

If you're a cop's wife, you are probably one private person -- or forced to be one! I know privacy comfort levels vary with as many different colors of LEO uniforms there are out there, but I just wanted to put out some thoughts about privacy as it particularly relates to law enforcement.

I've always been a somewhat private person, especially when it comes to the internet. It's not that I'm not willing to share information or "go deep" with someone, but I don't necessarily want to do it in the typically one-sided form of a blog. I always like to remind myself that anything I write I should be happy having discussed on the 5 o'clock news. So that's me, just for starters.

But now I'm married to a cop. In fact, I live within walking distance of his department, so it's safe to say I live within the jurisdiction where he works. Hm. Think about *that* for a while!! Just last week the kids and I were at the park, and hubs actually came along. (shock of the month!) He noticed that someone driving by slowed down and gave him a dirty look. Of course I was oblivious (or he was having an overactive imagination) but it really got him going. I just brushed it off -- I think I have hero-pedestal complex when it comes to my husband. I figured if it *was* someone coming after him, he would save us and we'd all live happily ever after.

I don't know about the "happily ever after" part but it should make you think... if anyone ever decided they wanted to retaliate against your significant other in the course of his/her job, what's a good way to do that? Get back at the family. How? Well, let's start with a web search. Do you want someone to do a quick search for your husband's name, then find your name, your children's names, the school they attend, pictures of the kids, your phone number, your address....? The list is endless. I'm guessing that if someone who actually *knew* me stumbled on this blog, they might guess it was me. My personality still comes through here. I also have another, "personal", blog but I keep that separate and I have never mentioned the line of work my husband is in when writing on it. It's easy enough to skirt around it and move along. Husband has been out on a walk with us at least once or twice and promptly ditched us as he saw one or another of his frequent clients, whom he didn't want to know that he belonged to us. It kind of makes sense, and when I'm sitting at home in the middle of the night by myself with only some cold steel under my pillow, I appreciate the pains he takes to keep things private and separate from work.

Finally, in case none of that made sense, here is a little bit of a "how annoying!" situation which is only partially related to privacy. I was at an open house a few weeks ago when the realtor (a young man, possibly even younger than me. yikes!) asked me to fill out my contact info on his sheet. I put my name and email address -- easy enough to delete, delete, delete, right? -- but he persisted and really wanted my phone number. I simply said, "No, I don't give out my phone number." To which he replied "I just want to follow up with you about some home buying information." "No, I don't give out my number, but feel free to email me." He had the audacity to say "Oh, look, I know you are married and have kids I just want to make sure I can provide you with the best possible service." He will never, ever get business from me, and my phone number will stay private, private, private!

Speaking of private numbers -- I got a google voice number!!! yay!! This way I can mark my little realtor friend as "spam" in my google voice inbox and never have to listen to him ever again. ha!

10 comments:

mrs. fuzz said...

I pretty much feel the same exact way and we are also in walking distance to HF's department. HF is a lot more "Paranoid" than me, but I am learning the importance of complete privacy. Especially in the blogging world. Anyone is findable online these days and that's the last thing we want. Just being careful. Better safe than sorry. I think that's probably why so many people are forced to quit blogging because they weren't able to maintain enough privacy. I have a personal family blog but that's private. Good post. I'm surprised that people aren't MORE private with their blogging when their husband's are in this line of work.

Meadowlark said...

I've had a couple of local bloggers find me thru the sustainable/survival aspects of what I talk about and when they added me to their blogroll, I immediatley asked if they would "un-add" me. No sense having more local people make the connection.

For the most part, a simple search of the tax records tells any criminal exactly where we are, which doesn't make me feel so good, but it is what it is. I counter this by being consistently vigilant and leery of anyone not in the "circle of trust". Sadly, I'm serious about that "circle of trust" thing. :)

Leah said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I am in the process now to change things for more privacy. It's good to know! Luckily, right now, we live pretty far away from the place where hubby works, but you never know what could come up!

KD said...

Mrs. Fuzz - Wow, I thought we were the only people in the LE world that lived so close to the cop's jurisdiction. When DH first started working there, he said it would make him a better cop because he'd care "more" about where he was policing. Whether that's true or not, now I see why so many officers live so far away from their place of work. It feels like hubs is truly never "off" or relaxed!

Meadowlark - I assume you are talking about property taxes... right? (Un)Fortunately, we do not pay those quite yet. ;) I'm looking forward to the day that we (un)fortunately do. I'm sure it will be a mixed bag!

Leah - I noticed that you already changed your name, made your profile (and your blog?) private. Given all the info you had on there that was probably a good idea. ;) Meadowlark mentioned the "circle of trust"... I think that's wise. I think it's a constant balancing act between paranoia and wise choices when it comes to privacy!

OrdinaryLife said...

I completely understand your thoughts on this! I keep my blog as private as possible, and I am very picky about who are friends are, what information we share with others. We have had a few "interesting" situations....people my husband has arrested wanting to buy him a beer at a local restaurant, a crazy guy showing up on our front porch, etc. Plus, I work at the same agency as my husband. I have told my co-workers (repeatedly) that they do not have my permission to tell any member of the public anything about me.
Our community is small, and I am also an EMT, so a lot of people know us. But I don't need a flashing arrow sign pointing the way for the ones that don't.

copswife said...

I started to comment here but realized I have WAY too much to say. So, I will be posting about this topic at my own blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

copswife said...

Gave you some linky love...

Natalie said...

Thanks so much for this post! I've been meaning to be more discreet on my personal blog, but now I'm even more motivated. I rarely emphasize that my hubby's a cop on the personal one, but this just re-inforces that since we also live within walking distance of the PD.

Anonymous said...

Live within walking distance to the station? Is he crazy? Why do you live in the same area where he arrests people? You could possibly be targeted just by being seen with him.

I am also married to a cop for 12 1/2 years and we live about as far away from his precint as possible.

KD said...

Now that's three of us who've just posted here who do live in walking distance to the PD. Probably half crazy, but it sure is nice for the commute. :) I think that's why we drive "out" for most things we do...