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What do you wish your families knew?


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  • What do you wish your families knew?

    I'm preparing a class for LE families on stress, and as I was thinking about what I want to cover with them, I got to wondering what you LEOs would want to see covered.

    Anyone want to make some suggestions?
    We do not all come to religion over the wandering years,
    but sooner or later we all get to meet God. -- Edward Conlon

  • #2
    Stress to the Wives/Grilfriends that there are times, when calls CANNOT be returned. I work with a coupls of guys who's S/O will call while we're on a job, and then when there's no answer, start banging the phone Literally every 30 seconds. One Former Gf did that to me, and when i Did call her back i explained that #1. I dont work at a Desk; #2, if I dont answer my (Pager at the time) it's because im Busy, #3, All paging/calling me every 30 seconds, and leaving snippy voicemails is going to do is REALLY **** me off;, And #4, since she was too Stupid to figure out # 1-3 on her own, she neednt ever bother to call me again. I've already counseled a few rooks that maybe they need to re-think their choice of Gf's because of crap like that.


    • #3
      That's a good one!

      We do not all come to religion over the wandering years,
      but sooner or later we all get to meet God. -- Edward Conlon


      • #4
        I think one of the biggest things is that sometimes( and I mean sometimes) we have to blow off a little steam. It's easier to talk with other cops who can relate to whatever it is we're talking about. We can't or don't always discuss what we've seen or done and that's not because we think it's none of their business but because we don't want to expose them to it if at all possible. It's bad enough that we have to see certain things, we don't need to put in their heads too.
        My job is to protect people and that includes my family!
        "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

        "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep


        • #5
          I think it is important for family to know this is not a 9 to 5 job. There are times we just simply cannot avoid having to work over. Unfortunately we miss events and believe me it breaks our hearts just as much as it does our family members but at the same time we took this job so we know there is going to have to be some sacrifice.
          In my life I think it is important that my wife and son realize I love them with all my heart. I know I am the one that has to make that clear to them so I let them know this constantly by word and deed.
          We sometimes see or experience things that throw us for a loop. When we get home it is quite obvious by the way we carry ourselves. If my wife wants to ask me what is wrong that is fine but if I don't want to talk about it do not keep asking me. Let me relax and wind down. Some of these things I find it very hard to talk about. Especially if the event is still fresh in my mind. Sometimes I might tell my wife about it and sometimes I might never tell her about it because I think how is she going to relate to this. I don't want to talk about this because I want to get it out of my head as soon as possible and I don't want to keep rehashing the events.
          Lastly it is important for friend or relatives to control their tongues around us while we are off duty, say at a party. One of my biggest beefs is the relative or acquaintance that comes to me at a party and says "it's not fair that cops......... or I heard about a cop that did this............." Don't come to us with these ignorant comments while we are trying to relax and enjoy our time off with our families. I have a relative through marriage who does this. I simply won't go to a party that she is at. The kicker is she is extremely jealous because she wants to be a cop but she never will because she doesn't have the heart. She loves to belittle my department. Gets on my last nerve.
          Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.


          • #6
            More good ones, thanks.

            I think that is a huge one, the one about whether or not you want to talk about things when you get home. Sometimes families feel closed out if you don't talk to them, so my hope is that I can put that in a different perspective, to show that you try to protect them and protect the peace of your own home when you do that-- a way of keeping work at work and having home be a place of peace.

            Of course, the other side of that is as you say, the officer's responsibility to make sure their families KNOW they are loved. It helps families handle "being left out" if the officer can acknowledge the impact of events by saying things like, "I had a call involving a dead baby today, and I am feeling really crappy. I don't really want to talk about it, I just want to hold our baby for awhile. I'll be okay. I'm glad to be back home with you and the baby." Something along those lines.

            That lets the family know how they can help and that you still consider them part of your team, even if you don't want to talk about it.

            Keep'em coming, folks, I'm sure there are other things you'd like our families to hear!
            We do not all come to religion over the wandering years,
            but sooner or later we all get to meet God. -- Edward Conlon


            • #7
              Great answers.
              A spouse or gf needs to know we are highly trained and capable and worrying will only cause an ulcer. That most of us plan to be a pain in their side for til we're 100.
              My wife and I have worked out a few simple routines.
              -When I leave for work, we kiss each other goodbye and say I love you. We never part ways with something major unresolved (if we can). What I mean is, I never leave for work angry. And she never puts me in a position where I'm concerned about something at home as to take my focus off my work.
              -When I get on shift (because my cruiser # changes daily), I call her and let her know the car #. That way when she turns on the news at 6 and sees a cruiser has been involved in an accident she will know it is not me. (We learned that one the hard way).
              -If she has something she needs to tell me at work that can't wait, she'll call and if I'm available I'll answer, if not she leaves a message. No big deal. We don't socialize when I'm working.
              -When I get home from work (if she's still awake), she says "how was your night?". She knows me well enough that if I say "ah, it was work", then I need some time to decompress and I don't want to talk. If I come home and say "good, how was yours?", the invitation is open to go for dialogue.
              -I have also learned that I need to be more understanding at times of the enormous task my wife undertakes. Many times she is a married single mother and I'm not the only one with an important job to do. She takes great pride in making sure that our children are thriving and well taken care of, that when I come home there is no chaos and that mostly we have a happy nurtured marriage. It's hard not to reciprocate that.
              Oh, and for wives or gf's make friends with some of the other wives.


              • #8
                Leave the scanner off. It's nice that you're interested enough to want to hear what I'm up to, but I don't want you pushing me for all the juicy details of the calls I went on. Besides, you'll just worry yourself when you hear me going to hot calls and waiting until I go code-4 (life is good) only to hear me huffing and puffing over the radio calling for more units.

                Don't worry unless you see the good Chaplain here or brass with hats off on your doorstep.


                • #9
                  One of our chaplains conducts a "spousal academy" for the families of new officers. If you want to PM me your contact information I can pass it on to him and he might be able to give you some ideas.
                  I miss you, Dave.


                  • #10
                    Thanks, CruiserClass, I'll do that.

                    More good answers, keep'em coming!

                    Incidentally, as for seeing the chaplain on the doorstep? I've been taught that, if I have some non-emergency reason for appearing on an officer's doorstep, I should call first, so I don't scare the bejabbers out of anyone.

                    A good thing for chaplains to keep in mind!
                    We do not all come to religion over the wandering years,
                    but sooner or later we all get to meet God. -- Edward Conlon


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