I don't care where you work -- if you're a cop, you automatically have a big fat target on the back of your uniform. You may work in a more "dangerous" area -- cities that people across the country may hear of and know about, and not for their beautiful beaches and friendly people -- or you may work in a neighboring jurisdiction that gets the overflow from one of those crappy towns. The longer my husband is in law enforcement, the more I learn that there are all kind of cops working for all kinds of agencies (ever seen a Postal Service Police Officer? I have!). And they all have their unique idiosyncrasies.
There has been major tension in our larger metro area lately, with lots of conflict between the cops and the illogical, left-leaning, narrow-minded citizens that see the uniform my husband wears and make all sorts of assumptions about him. And they don't even know him! Now, generally speaking, my husband's jurisdiction is rather benign. One of those places where you automatically think "Oh, that's not too bad," but at the same time they get the overflow from some of the more nasty towns around.
So, yeah, I feel pretty "safe" when my husband goes to work. (What a joke that is. But that's for another post.) He's gotten plenty of his shift buddies out of jams in his years on, been crashed by a drunk driver... but really? It's not that bad.
So imagine my surprise when I was driving home with the kids in the car recently and I heard the breaking news that there had been a shooting right in the middle of DH's jurisdiction. When he was on duty. In the middle of his shift. In the middle of his jurisdiction. Did I mention he was working right then?
Like I recently said on Twitter, my insides died a little while I heard that tiny snippet. I knew not to call him. If he had been the shooter, or on the call during the shooting, or been shot, he's wasn't going to answer the phone. If he was providing support to the whole situation (highly likely, eh?), he wasn't going to answer the phone. So I just had to breathe... and know that whatever had happened had already happened. And I would know if I needed to know and when I needed to know. I called my brother and had him comb the internet for details -- just find out who got shot, was it a good guy or a bad guy? I hung up and called home to check the messages remotely. No messages. Ok, I think that's a good sign. I think.
It turned out to be a good sign. About 90 minutes later DH called and my insides collapsed in relief. Yes, he was still on duty. No, he wasn't on the call. No, he wouldn't be coming home on time. Yes, I would need to scramble for a babysitter. That "late home" and "not available for you" part sucked. But I didn't even care when I knew he wasn't involved in the incident.
I'm having a hard time synthesizing my feelings about the whole thing. The multiple incidents piling up -- a fight here, a shooting there, crazy morons here, obscenities and profanity... all in one week? I can take it spread out but shift after shift after shift, working 12 hours on with three days off spread over 14 days?
If I'm having trouble, how are these officers doing it?
DH had a glorious day off yesterday and now he is back in the trenches. I'm sorting through my feelings, and definitely not discussing with my non-LEO friends because they cannot wrap their mind around it. Oh, and potty training. And cleaning up barf. That's what we are doing today. What's on your schedule today?
2 hours ago