A Brief Pause

making time to experience everything life offers

A Brief Pause - making time to experience everything life offers


Traffic Stop
Being indecisive has never been a problem for me. Some decisions I make immediately and others take some research. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to choose a career in law enforcement. It wasn’t a usual direct and focused decision, but one that came a different way.

At the time, I was separated from my husband and had a two year old son. The police scanner had been background noise in my life for years since my husband volunteered as a reserve police officer in the city where we lived. Testing to join a nearby department was coming up and one of my girlfriends planned to apply. She asked me to go along with her and that’s how I found myself testing to be a police officer. Not that I hadn’t been interested before, but my friend helped push me into taking the steps to make it happen.

Thirty years later I’m still working for my department. It’s been a wonderful career and I’m looking forward to retiring in about four years.

I’ve been blessed to be part of this profession for a number of reasons, primarily because:

  • I’ve had the opportunity to help people when they’ve needed it the most. Whether it was comforting a child after a serious accident or protecting a woman from abuse by the person who was supposed to love her, I’ve been there. I’ve responded on tragic suicides and walked away from a person, dying of cancer, who stopped breathing and had a do not resuscitate order. I accompanied a young girl in an ambulance who was shot in the head by her father in a domestic violence situation. I arrested people for crimes they committed. I taught classes to children on avoiding drugs and helped move the department forward on social media so that the community could stay better informed. I’ve made a difference.
  • I work with heroes in action. The vast majority of officers are true professionals, keeping our community safe every hour of every day, including holidays when most people are celebrating with their families. They are a phone call away and will respond to assist even people who are the most vocal anti-police activists.
  • The job helped me provide for my son and I with fair wages and benefits. Now looking forward to retirement, I’m grateful that I have a pension and savings that will allow me to live comfortably and to travel as I move into the next phase of my life.

It has been a privilege to serve my community as a police officer. While we seem to be beat up in the media a lot, I know that most citizens appreciate the work that we do and they feel safe as they move through their days. I’ve made some good decisions during my lifetime, but becoming a police officers was one of the best.

What’s one of the best decisions you ever made?

Category: Thoughts
  • Tom Witowski says:

    Marrying Joanne and completing a 20+ career in the US Navy.

    April 25, 2014 at 7:34 am
  • karen says:

    what a difference you have made in people’s lives. While it is pretty tough and hard to deal with all of that, I am glad you are on the good side.

    April 25, 2014 at 8:19 am
  • Kristi Campbell says:

    You rock, Jennifer! Seriously. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to accompany a young girl who’d been shot in the head by her father. Sigh. Thank you for people like you who help the rest of us when we need help, and keep us safe. It’s truly a admirable profession and you should be so proud of 30 years of service.
    Tweeted this.

    April 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm
  • jasteck says:

    You have made some great decisions, Tom. Bravo!

    April 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm
  • jasteck says:

    Thank you, Karen. I’m the one who has been blessed through the process. :)

    April 25, 2014 at 4:49 pm
  • jasteck says:

    Thank you, Kristi. It was hard. I was so sad when she died. And it was so foreign and difficult to walk way from the man who quit breathing, but it was what he wanted.

    April 25, 2014 at 4:50 pm
  • Kerith Stull says:

    Wow. I so respect your tenacity to do what you love and serve others. My 18yo daughter with moderate cerebral palsy LOVES cops. She can spot them a mile away. Every night at dinner, she gives us her “cop report” of how many she saw that day. The highlight of her year so far has been the visit she got for a female officer to serve her with guardianship papers. There’s a funny story along with that about the misunderstanding she had about the “girl cop.” I hate to comment with a link to my blog, but you might want to check it out for a chuckle. :) http://brielleandme.net/making-daughter-update-2/ (Visiting from FTSF!)

    April 25, 2014 at 8:09 pm
  • jasteck says:

    You can link up your blog anytime you want, Kerith. I’m so glad that Brielle has such a great interest in cops. I had no idea about guardianship papers and how intense the process was for you and your family. Amazing. Did you get the picture with the police officer? I’ll go back through your previous posts and look for it. Thanks for stopping by!!

    April 25, 2014 at 10:25 pm
  • Nikki Frank-Hamilton says:

    Thank you! From the bottom of my heart. It takes a special person to become a police officer,and an even more incredible person to love what they do. I have had to turn to my local force and they have always been a great support. Not only is your profession one that requires bravery, but it also requires heart and an ability to think quickly. Kudos to you for accepting the call, but even more importantly, kudos to you for loving what you do.

    April 26, 2014 at 8:23 am
  • Kat says:

    I have always had great respect for police officers. It is such a hard job with far too few “thank you’s”. After 30 years of service, you deserve to enjoy a wonderful retirement.

    From me and all of those who you have helped in all those years – Thank You!

    April 26, 2014 at 8:42 am
  • jasteck says:

    Thank you, Nikki! I’ve received so much more than I’ve ever given. It truly is a privilege.

    April 26, 2014 at 8:55 am
  • jasteck says:

    Kat, Thank you for your kind words. They bring tears to my eyes. :)

    April 26, 2014 at 8:56 am
  • Anne Asplin says:

    Staying in NC to continue dating my boyfriend instead of moving to VA to enter grad school. We have now been married 10 years and have a beautiful daughter!

    April 26, 2014 at 9:08 am
  • jasteck says:

    Congratulations, Anne! That sounds like a fabulous decision!!

    April 26, 2014 at 10:09 am
  • Tarana says:

    It takes a strong and selfless character to make a decision like that, so it is you who we should thank for helping others in ways you did.

    April 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm
  • jasteck says:

    Thank you, Tarana. I’m so lucky to be working in such a great career. :)

    April 27, 2014 at 9:24 pm
  • Bonnie says:

    It takes a strong woman to make the decision you did. I admire you. I’ve made so many good decisions that it’s hard to answer your question. At the top, however, is knocking on a door and re-connecting with the wonderful man who has now been my husband for 34 years.

    April 28, 2014 at 6:36 am
  • jasteck says:

    Thank you, Bonnie. Congratulations on 34 years with an amazing man!!

    April 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm

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