Today was one hell of a day. I am working 3p-11p this week, and I woke up this morning to hear on the news that one of the officers in my department had been shot over night. Of course, the cop in me wants to get dressed, rush out the house, and join the manhunt. But that is not how it works in real life.
I don't know how much people really know about police culture, so I will explain it like this; we are all like siblings. Jealous, childish siblings. We hate when each other get the better toys, and fight over stupid shit. BUT, if you hurt one of us, we will defend and back each other up until the end.
Being off duty when a big incident like this sucks. You only know what the media puts out there, you don't get any real info until you get back to work. The news just said an officer was shot in the upper body, not in the vest. Officer was in critical condition. Suspect at large.
I get to work, I finally find out who the officer is. I work in a big department, so I don't really KNOW him, I know OF him. He is a good guy. Has a wife and kids. Good officer. I also find out that he was shot in the neck. He has been in and out of surgery, and consciousness all day.
All this before we have to go out and do our jobs. On a busy Friday night. I have had this incident in the back of my mind all night.
I have also had another incident in the back of my mind all night. Last week, while I was on vacation, there was a police involved shooting on my shift, in the post next to mine. My side-partner, and one of my supervisors were involved. They are still out on administrative leave while this is being investigated. It's a clean shoot, so career wise, they will be good to go. But, that's only one part of the equation. They still have to deal with the mental anguish of being involved in this incident. The public scrutiny, in a time where the cops are wrong, and the suspects are right. They also have to deal with the "what if"s.. Damn those "what if"s.
I know the public sees us as a necessary evil, but the officers I work with are good, hardworking guys and girls. We generally care, and try to do a good job. We took a job that we know may hurt us, or may even KILL us. We know that some people feel it's all "part of the job".
I leave with this thought. We are all humans. We are all trying to make the community we live and work in a better place to live.
Keep my co-workers in your thoughts. Pray for my injured officer, as he fights to recover.
Stay safe out there.