~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
I am posting this because I am sick of the police bashing that has gone on since Obama made the police..(the enemy)! This, and, the following article I am going to post are good for people to read. I saw every day what they go through and unless people are willing to "suit up" and go out and put their lives on the line every day like they do, they need to just shut up! I support Law Enforcement!
People can say what they want about the police, but until a person has walked in their shoes, they have no idea what they’re talking about. But one thing I believe we can agree on is that police officers simply do not fit in.
Now, before you continue to read and think I am bashing the police, it’s quite the opposite.
I became a police officer when I was 20-years-old. Moreover, I am about to marry a state trooper. As a result, I know cops don’t fit into society; they are simply a rare breed.
This article is for you to peek BEHIND THE BADGE and understand what I mean.
First, it is simply abnormal to see dead bodies, gruesome crime scenes, handle horrible abuse calls along with domestic violence and suicidal people daily.
Police officers arrive during your worst days, not your happy moments. After a while this takes a toll and makes a person want to shut down. There is only so much negativity before they themselves become sucked into the pessimism.
In order for the police officers to survive 25 years in the job, they are trained to desensitize, because if they don’t, they will not be efficient on the job.
I was just watching the Netflix documentary series on Flint Town Michigan (highly recommend you watch) and one of the officers says just that. He said that you can’t take anything on this job personal otherwise you’d never make it.
And he is 100 percent right. Cops need to put their emotions aside and handle their jobs, even when it’s the death of a child, and they have a child the same age at home.
Now can you start to see why police officers are different than the rest of society?
Cops are trained to solve problems. They have become so efficient that it makes them appear detached to the parties involved. But that is not true, they simply have a checklist of things they need to get through in order to help citizens.
So while they seem short, even blunt, they aren’t trying to be offensive. They are simply trying to discern facts and figure out the best way they can help.
The job itself seems to be an incubator. Stress coming from all areas to include administration, the public, social media, fellow officers, and front line supervisors.
We are in a unique time when every move a police officer makes is scrutinized . . . even when their actions are justified!
This stress causes officers to be unlike the rest of the population. Working conditions have dramatically changed in the past 10 years. There are not enough boots on the ground, officers are multi-tasking and handling assignments that should be completed by additional help, overtime can be forced and time off is not guaranteed.
So, at this point you may ask yourself, why do people sign up for this kind of work?
Well, if we don’t, who will? Who will hold the line between criminals and civilized society? Not a majority of society.
The job of a police officer has become so much more complex than it used to be. All the while, our antagonists have a much louder voice than before. As a result, police officers default and become a breed of their own. Consequently, they don’t always fit in very well in public settings, family affairs, church, etc. It is just the way it is. And now after reading this, perhaps you can understand why police officers are the way they are.
Autumn Clifford is a former police officer. She was in law enforcement for six years before she got hurt on duty and left the job. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is almost halfway through obtaining a masters’ degree in the field.
Autumn was not only a patrol officer, but is marrying a state trooper in September of 2018. Autumn has taken her passion for law enforcement and is now helping officers and spouses understand both sides of the badge. She has also created an online business, which, focuses on helping law enforcement. You can reach her onInstagram @theladysheepdog or by listening to her podcast Sheepdog Nation.
Break the Silence!
Police Suicides Outnumber Line-of-Duty Deaths
Suicides left more officers and firefighters dead last year than all line-of-duty deaths combined. Needless to say, this is a jarring statistic that continues to plague first responders but garners little attention—especially if your loved one falls into this category.
A new study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization that works for the rights of people with disabilities, looked at depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues affecting first responders and the rates of suicide in departments nationwide.
According to USA Today, the group found that while suicide has been an ingrained issue for years, very little has been done to address it even though first responders have PTSD and depression at a level five times that of civilians.
Last year, 140 police officers committed suicide. And this number does not include many others that were masked otherwise. Additionally, 103 firefighters intentionally ended their life. These tragedies outnumber line-of-duty deaths, which included 129 police officers and 93 firefighters, according to USA Today. (Note: Officer Down Memorial Page lists 135 line-of-duty deaths in 2017, while the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund includes 134.)
Line-of-duty deaths include everything from being fatally shot, stabbed, drowning, heart attack or dying in a car accident while on the job.
Miriam Heyman, one of the co-authors of the study, said the numbers of suicide are extremely under-reported, while other more high-profile deaths make headlines. There were 46 officers who died after being fatally shot on the job in 2017, nearly 67% less than the number of suicides.
The number of firefighter suicides may only represent about 40% of the deaths, she said, meaning the deaths could total more than 250 — more than double the amount of all line-of-duty deaths.
I can fully relate to this article posted by a dispatcher. I miss it so much that I now watch Live PD on television to get my "fix" of the job. LOL
Closing the Book as a Dispatcher
It’s been awhile since my last article, and this is a difficult one to write. I just ended my 27-year career as a dispatcher, and the “after” life is something foreign and terrifying to me.
My career in dispatching began out of an old janitor’s closet, in a small, rural township, where I would laugh every time I heard myself on the radio. I still remember the chief (may he rest in peace) saying, “Tell her she sounds great, but she needs to stop laughing on the radio.”
Dispatching took me through another township, a city, a children’s hospital, a state highway patrol, a large consolidated center, to an airport. I loved it all; the crazy, busy times, and the chaos. Moreover, I loved my nickname, “Little Princess Dark Cloud.”
My steadfast goal was to make a difference, to make sure all my people went home safely at the end of the shift, and to never lose my empathy.
I used to do a lot of ride-alongs with my officers, in part because I always wanted to be a police officer, and in part because it made me better at my job. Consequently, I wanted to understand what happened on their side of the radio, so I could be the best for them on my side.
I was waiting in an officer’s cruiser one night while she did a bar check, as a drive-by shooting occurred on the road next to me. I called her back outside and told her, and she was just incredulous. “Why didn’t you put it out over the radio???” I told her I panicked and didn’t know what to do. “You’re a dispatcher! Dispatch it!!” I was out of my comfort zone! (By the way, no one was hurt.)
CISD: INCLUDE YOUR DISPATCHERS
I have 27 years of memories – friendships, funerals, retirements, funny calls, heartbreaking cries and screams, shootings, suicides, domestics, fires, accidents, pursuits, fights, tornadoes, hurricanes, robberies, rapes. As a result, I don’t know that there is anything that I didn’t experience, and that is both a blessing and a curse.
I am left with the memories of those I saved, and those that I didn’t. I am left with PTSD, and triggers, and nightmares, and anxiety. And yet, it is still something that is tremendously difficult to give up.
There’s no fanfare, there’s no retirement, there’s no “thanks for your service.” It’s just gone. I have identified myself as a great dispatcher and a great mom for so long, with one of those removed, I’m left to question, what am I now? Who am I now? Where do I go from here?
A good dispatcher is worth his/her weight in gold, and yet still forgotten. Dispatchers are the last to be thanked, but the first to be blamed.
Officers, firefighters and paramedics are first on the scene, and they see the chaos and the horror and the panic.
Dispatchers hear it. They hear the fear, and it never goes away. There is no preparation before you answer the phone, or before you hear what comes over the radio. Remember that even the best dispatcher has scars that you will never see. It’s an unwritten rule that you don’t admit that you even have them.
After 27 years, the one wish I still have is for dispatchers to receive more recognition. Thank those who make your job easier, those that get you back home to your family every day, those that don’t get thanked. They will appreciate it more than you know.
Good post and good read. It takes special people to do the jobs of law enforcement. They don't ever know if they are going to come home.