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?