Not long ago, my two daughters and I took a women’s handgun safety class put on by our local, Longview Police Department. First off, it was free. There were four nights about two hours each then Saturday morning, we met out at the police gun range. The officers did a wonderful job, and if you are in the area and a female, you need to take this class.
Our first class discussed safety in parking lots, stores, and in general. Most of it I knew, some I didn’t but it was good to be reminded. And especially good for my girls. The second night we were taught what to do in an active shooting event. For example, if someone came into an office where we were or some such thing. I now feel more confident about surviving such an event. Next, we were taught handgun safety and the laws that apply. And again, this was info I didn’t know.
Friday we met and used the Firearms Training Simulator. This was awesome. But it gave us a small insight into what it’s like to be a cop. For example, my first scenario was a nicely dressed guy standing on the sidewalk. As I approached, he started talking…nothing dangerous or threatening. He starts moving a bit, then he pulls a gun and fires at me. Naturally, I killed him. But the thing is, there wasn’t anything about him that screamed “I’m a gun-packing looney and I want to kill you.”
The guy waving his knife around was an easy threat to determine. Especially when he lunged for me. I killed him too. :-)
One of the situations was a domestic dispute. As I “arrived on location” I heard screaming and yelling from inside the house. As I made my way inside, I discovered a man holding a shotgun with a hostage.(That didn’t quite come out right but…) I didn’t attempt to talk him down, I just took him out. I did a couple others, but these stuck with me.
Where am I going with this?
I spent this past weekend at LexiCon in Denton, Texas. The keynote speaker, Verdi Lethermon, used to be the Director of Psychological Services for the Houston Police Department. She gave an awesome presentation on cops and some of the things we don’t see. One story she told really stuck with me. She told of a call out to go pick up the body of a dog that had been hit and killed on the highway before it caused an accident. Thing is, when the officer got there, it was a 10 year old boy instead. This officer had to pick up dismembered body parts off the highway. An arm here, maybe a leg over there…
Here’s the thing. When an officer pulls over a car, he doesn’t know who is in the car, what that person has done or is willing to do. He doesn’t know if that person is going to pull a gun or hand over his “license and registration.” When an officer arrives at the home in the middle of a domestic dispute, she doesn’t know the story. All she knows is someone called for help and she has sworn an oath to “serve and protect.” When that police officer puts his gun in his holster and walks out his door in the morning, he doesn’t know if that’s the last time he’ll do so. He doesn’t know if he’ll come home that evening. She doesn’t know if she will even make it to lunch – and some don’t.
Every day, every call, could be a police officer’s last. It’s a scary thing. Especially when they are just doing their job.
For example, if you don’t want a speeding ticket – don’t speed. How simple is that? If you don’t want the cops to hassle you…don’t break the law. And yes, I know there are some bad cops out there. But you know what, there are bad employees in every job. In fact, my husband works with several bad employees who don’t give a rip about their job. We don’t see them profiled on the news though.
We also don’t see the good things the police do every day. Sure, more of it is showing up now, but still. For example, not long ago I saw three officers pushing a car out of the street after it had broken down. They didn’t have to, they could have left it there. They chose to “serve.” It’s what they do. They “serve and protect.” They are there whenever we need them. I once saw a picture that had “Hate cops? Next time you’re in trouble, call a crackhead.”
Police officers deserve our respect and appreciation. They deserve to be held in esteem. They deserve better than they get.
I love this guy!