(Inspired by Caitlyn Doenges open letter)
To my friends, family, and community,
I am dating a police officer. A man who, while we are worried about getting fired from our job, is worried about getting killed from his. A man who runs into dangerous situations, while we try to run away from them. A man who witnesses some of the most gut-wrenching scenes, while we watch censored versions of them on tv. A man who patrols the streets on the coldest of Christmas’, while we open presents by the fire with our families. A man who takes a drunk driver to jail at 2am, while we safely drive home from a New Years Eve party. This is a man who puts his life on the line everyday.
And with all of this, I kiss my boyfriend good-bye every morning not knowing the condition he will return in. I am human and would be lying if I said the thought of ‘what-if’ does not cross my mind every so often. The choice to become a police officer is one of courage, knowing that with your badge and gun, most of the civilian world will often be against you.
In today’s climate, this is increasingly true. Before I met my real-life superhero, I was fearful and judgmental of law enforcement. Whenever an officer was involved in a shooting, I would immediately jump on the bandwagon of “f*ck the police”. I thought all cops had an ‘I am better than you’ mentality and an overpowering dominance-complex. It wasn’t until I met him and got to know him and his fellow cop buddies, that my mindset shifted.
I see things differently now. When a cop pulls me over, I don’t immediately fake cry, because let’s be real, I definitely WAS speeding. When I am late to a meeting because of police presence at a car accident, I don’t curse because let’s be real, I definitely SHOULD have left earlier. I am thankful that someone is always there looking out for my community.
But yes, I understand police brutality does happen and it is despicable. It breaks my heart to hear about it and even more-so when snippets of it play on the tv. But remember, for every round of 1000 products manufactured, there is a 5% defective rate. For every 5-acre orchard, there are 2 dozen rotten trees. For every 10’s of 1000’s of police officers, there may be a few corrupt ones.
So yes, I am in love with a police officer. A human being. One day, we will have a family. I will be married to a man who volunteers to work the crosswalk early mornings at our neighborhood school, while I spend time getting our children ready for the day. A man who may miss his toddler’s first words because he is busy protecting another child from an abusive caretaker. A man who sprints towards the scene of an active teenage shooter at a concert, while our very own teenager runs away.
So my friends, family, and community, I ask you to keep respecting the men in uniform. Don’t assume they are all bad. Pay attention to the news, but don’t let it cloud your opinion towards your neighborhood law enforcement officers. Next time you see a local officer, thank him for his service and send a prayer his way that he makes it home safe.
A Police Officer’s Girlfriend