Category Archives: law enforcement

#HumanizingTheBadge Dear Officer #bookreview

This is not an easy post for me to write. I have been trying to figure out the words to do this post with. Last summer I struggled with the death of Det. Orozco but it inspired me to write about my blue family when I was suppose to write about my family (you can view that post HERE ). It was hard. It was my home town. I watched my husband struggle as a sister was taken to soon.

Then Elizabeth, Mike and Sloan from Humanizing the Badge put together a beautiful tribute to Det. Orozco and other officers. Dear Officer brought back so may emotions, so many tears. There is a picture right of the bat of a gentleman who removed his hard hat and knelt as the procession for Det. Orozco went by. An image that stuck in my mind from the day of her funeral. The honor, the respect. The tears came again.  The book is a series of letters, to officers, to the families, to the rookie spouse. All full of love and emotions, and images that just hit you. Yes, I cried some more while reading this book.

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National Police Week 2015

Police week 2015 2

This week is National Police week. It starts tomorrow (May 10th) and will end on May 16th. This is a week where we honor, and thank those who are serving and those we have lost in the line of duty.

Last year the nation lost 127 officers in the line of duty. This year- we are already at 42 fallen heros. It is a hard time for the men and women in blue. So I like to try to show those in our area how I appreciate them and appreciate that they have my husbands back. Last year we made some really cute “Police Survival” goody bags. They had some candy like Life Savers, Mounds, ect… And they all had really cute sayings to go with them. We had a brunch to kick off police week and then a dinner mid week.

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Last Chance for Justice #BookReview

Capture

I have been in desperate need of a new book lately. But the problem is- I am picky- I am really only into Historical Fiction books, and even then- I am normally only into ones that take place during the Civil War or World War 2. I have got to be honest- those are hard to come by. But then I ran across a book called Last Chance for Justice by T.K. Thorne.  This is actually a non fiction book, however, the cover alone had me intrigued. I was honestly hesitant to even reach out about this book because, well,  there is a TON of anti Law Enforcement stuff out there and with me being a wife of a Popo I tend to watch what I bring into the house.  Then I read more about the author. So let us start there.
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A Scary New Trend!

No LEO

 

Here, we are a law enforcement family. You may have noticed that I often refer to my husband in posts as The Popo. Because he is. He is a trooper with the State Patrol and I love him dearly for what he does.

Being an LEO wife means a lot more then the title. It means being strong when needed, being silent when needed, birthdays and holidays fall on different days, weekends are in the middle of the week which means so does date night. It also means being aware of their 3rd Arm. Yep- I call it their 3rd Arm. It is always there. You get to a point where you just know what side of him to stand/sit on when walking or sitting together so that he can easily get to it when needed. Because if you are married to an LEO you know, they are never off duty. They are always assessing, looking, alert. They are always protecting. And part of that comes with that extra appendage. It is just the way it is and something you get used to. And to be honest with all the hate towards cops- I am glad he has it on him at all times so he can at least of a chance to defend himself.

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Rejoice….. Always…..

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I think I have officially been smacked by God. Given a wake up call of sorts if you will. Today we went to church as usual but it ended in an unusual way for me.

See last night I went to bed angry and bitter. My mother may have something seriously wrong (sorry don’t want to go into details until I know for sure) and I was angry. I was angry that she let herself get this bad, angry that she didn’t tell me herself, and angry that I couldn’t help but to wonder how long do I have with her and automatically thinking the worse. I should of been thinking at least they are figuring it out. I should of been thinking of now we know how to  make it better. But instead I let bitter and anger take over me.

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Do we do enough?

Have you ever watched Blue Bloods? I love that show- I love that it shows some of what a cop thinks while they are doing their job and the family life of a cop. But I will also say- it is still nothing like they show on TV. Never the less- I still love it.

So tonight I sit down after getting the kids to bed. Turn to CBS and rewind it back (love that I can do that with DirectTV) and start to watch my show. I know it was going to be an intriguing one because the clips hinted it had to do with the military. But I didn’t know it would be as serious as it was. They touched a subject that for some reason is taboo- PTSD in our service men and woman. These men and women go of- get shot at and dodge IED’s and what not and are expected to come home perfectly normal as if nothing happened. Sorry- it doesn’t work that way.

Now I am not a military wife so I wont claim to know what these families must be feeling and going through. But I do have a husband who is in Law Enforcement- and while he may not be dodging IED’s he does have risk with his job. He sees accidents where a 22 year old is partially ejected, or sat through an autopsy for an accident of a woman who was killed by a drunk leaving behind an infant and a toddler and husband. He serves search warrants for men who pray on children. He see’s things that I honestly do not know how he could handle not throat chopping someone when dealing with the idiots causing it.

The reality is- Both Military and Law Enforcement Officers have a darkness that no one wants to admit to. If the men go ask for help will their buddies see them as weak. If a woman seeks help would the men say “see woman shouldn’t be in this field they can’t handle it”. Instead society says “you choose this you should be able to handle it”. But they are human and no one  can handle watching their unit get hit by an IED, or responding to an accident with a child, or a murder scene. No amount of training can prepare you for all of that. Instead of saying “deal with it” we need to let them know that it is OK to have these nightmares. Now again- I am not speaking for Military only- I am a LEOW (law enforcement officer wife) so I know more of that. I am also not trying to compare the two- I would never dream of doing that. They all have their own nightmares, but it doesn’t change the fact that they all battle some sort of terror.

Because of these terrors in 2012 there were 349 active duty suicides in the military. That is almost one a day! Then you add the vets, about 22 suicides A DAY! 22! That is one every 65 minutes Another study shows that 20% of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD but only half of them receive help. To me that is unacceptable. These men and woman deserve better!

While the number is not as large in LE it is still ridiculously high. 1 officer dies in the line of duty every 55 hours. In 2012 we lost 129 officers in the line of duty and while that happened 126 officers took their own lives. Why are we losing the same amount of officers in the LOD and suicide? At the same time how accurate is that number? It is known that suicides are under reported or misclassified as an accident to protect family, other survivors and the agency. But why are they doing it? It is estimated that 125,000 officers have PTSD. For every 1 suicide there is 1000 officers suffering from it.

Now in the episode of Blue Bloods they showed a soldier suffering from PTSD and was pushed over board by his wife wanting a divorce. Sadly that is a very common trend. My husband’s own agency lost a man of 20+ years on the force to suicide, like most scenarios- his wife left him. The worse part- they never released that it was a suicide. They released it as an “accidental death”.  I wont claim to know what it is like to live with a Military person dealing with PTSD. But as a LE wife I know how frustrating the job can be. You are sitting enjoying a nice quiet evening and he get’s called out to accident. Birthday’s scheduled around the shift, holidays happening quickly, no vacation planning. I get it. But they need our support just like our service men and woman do. They may seem selfish- but in reality by expecting them to be perfect and fine we are the selfish ones. By fighting over something as small as having a date night on a Sunday night, we are being selfish. We need to support our spouses. Be there for them. Keep watch on them. You as a spouse know your loved one better then any one. You will be the first to know when something isn’t right and it is your job to make sure they get the help they need. Not to leave them as so many are quick to do. To these people- coming home to someone who loves and supports them is what keeps them going. Knowing that they have someone waiting to care for them and stand by them. Yes, they may not want to talk about it. But you still need to be there and encourage them. Let them know that they need to talk and when they are ready you are there for them. Don’t push them, don’t force them.

  Just be there. 

There are many sources where one can get help when dealing with suicidal thoughts or PTSD. Talk with your Agency, or check out online. The VA has a crisesline where they can call and talk to someone. For Law Enforcement there are agencies like C.O.P.S and Badge Of Life.

There is help out there and it is OK to get it. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. We need to quit seeing this as a taboo topic and start getting these people the support they need and deserve.  If you have any resources feel free to leave me a comment! I will allow any links that can possibly save the life of someone with PTSD.

~I am not an expert nor am I a therapist. I support Law Enforcement and Military and researched this before posting. Some sites I used are http://www.veteransandptsd.com/PTSD-statistics.html http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/02/05/22-the-number-of-veterans-who-now-commit-suicide-every-day/ and http://www.officer.com/article/10850327/police-suicides-drop-in-2012~

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National Police Week

Photo courtesy of The Police Wife Life

It is that time of year again where we honor and celebrate the men and women in blue! National Police Week is where agencies across the nation are honoring those who give all. Events happen in DC at the National Law Enforcement Memorial as well as in many other states.

But it is also a week to honor and thank those who still continue to put their life on the line. This year I have decided to do something small. I will be making the local guys some cookies to show my appreciation for them. They are after all my hubby’s back up if he ever needs it! 
During this week take some time to show your appreciate. If you are a business owner, hang a sign showing that you support these men and women. If you are a wife of an LEO take something to your hubby’s department. It doesn’t have to be big either. 
These guys are not in it for the attention, or for the thank yous or anything so it doesn’t have to be big either. At some point this next week take time to remember those who have fallen and those who are serving.

If you are a LEO family of any kind feel free to check out the other badges that The Police Wife Life has made. She has everything from SERT to game and parks to bomb squad to sgts. If you don’t see one that fits your LEO just ask and she will make one for you! You can find them here!