Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Life As A Police Officer's Wife

So, for those of you who know us, you know that the Hubby is no longer a police officer. However, for almost 4 years of our married lives together, the Hubby served the community of Powell, Wyoming. There were many pros and cons to him being a police officer, but we are grateful for the experience that he had doing it.

When he was a police officer he was working shift work, which I HATED!! His shifts would change every month and when he worked the night shift it was nearly impossible to plan any daytime activities because he slept all day and then had to report to work at 6 pm. The other shifts that he worked sometimes required him to wake up in the middle of the night to transport a prisoner, who more times than not was pulled over for driving while intoxicated or driving while under the influence. So, he'd get up at 2 am, get all his gear on, try not to wake me or the baby sleeping in the nearby bedroom, go out in the darkness, report to the PD, grab the criminal, put him in his squad car, drive about 25 miles to the county jail, drop the idiot off, drive back to the PD, check back in there, drive back home, and try to salvage whatever amount of sleep he could still get before he had to report back to work. I have to say that I HATE drunk drivers even more after having experienced this.

The first year that the Hubby worked for the PD,, we had our first child, we moved twice, and the Hell's Angels came to town. The county was sprawling with police, from all around, including Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, etc. Because of careful planning and preparation there weren't any incidents and everything went smoothly. However, the hubby was working very loooong days for about a week, which meant that I got to worry about him even more :)

When the Hubby would work the night shift would be the hardest time for me, other than having him gone to the Police Academy. It would take me at least two weeks to adjust to not having him sleeping next to me. I would also be scared that someone he had arrested would know where we lived. Then there was the fear of something happening to him, there are just too many idiots out past 11:00. He always came home safely to me and reassured me that he always would.

With all of the worries and concerns that I had over his chosen profession, there were also a number of bright spots. When Ashlyn was born, we received a special visit from the Chief, who came to check her out and wish us well. He also told the Hubby that he should be prepared to start work pretty soon :) When Breckin was born we received more visits from the Hubby's fellow officers. They offered their support and congratulations. One of them even took the time to pick him up and hold him for a little while. It was great to have that support at such special times in our lives.

One year, during the week before fair, I was hustling around trying to get my entries ready for the culinary department. Since they only needed three or four individual items to taste, the rest of my treats went to the PD, needless to say they were more than gracious for the snacks that they received on nearly a daily basis for about a week.

Another time, the Hubby got really sick. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to use any of his sick time because he didn't have any, and he wasn't able to dip into the sick bank because he hadn't been there to participate in it. We were worried about how our bills were going to get paid, how we were going to pay our rent, how we were going to feed our little ones. We received a knock on our door one evening and there was the Chief and his wife with a manila envelope. He told us simply, that he had written a note on the envelope explaining the circumstances and informing people that any donation that they could give would be appreciated. The envelope made it's way to every department in the city. The contents of the envelope weren't emptied until later, but needless to say it was more than enough to meet our needs. We will be eternally grateful to those who opened their hearts to us at this time.

The whole point of this post is to give you a little insight as to what it means to be part of a law enforcement family. The Hubby was one of 16 brothers, with the Chief as their father. They really and truly are as close as brothers are. They would kill for each other, defend each other, they listen to each other, and give constructive criticism when it is due. A few weeks ago, the Hubby lost one of these brothers in a vehicle accident. When he told me what had happened, I didn't know how to expect him to react. When he came home from work, he was visibly upset and at this officer's funeral he became incredibly upset again. He told me outright, "There is no other bond I can think of that can compare to the one that I share with those guys. I feel like I lost a big brother." I felt for him, because although he is no longer employed as a police officer, he will always be a part of that family. We are so grateful for the experiences that we had as a part of that department, the good and the bad. It has made the hubby who he is and it has made us a different family because of it.

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