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You're Not A Cop Until You Taste Them

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  • You're Not A Cop Until You Taste Them

    Just Though I would Share

    ***********************************************
    You're Not A Cop Until You Taste Them

    The department was all astir, there was a lot of laughing and joking due to

    all the new officers, myself included, hitting the streets today for the

    first time. After months of seemingly endless amounts of classes, paperwork,

    and lectures we were finally done with the Police Academy and ready to join

    the ranks of our department.

    All you could see were rows of cadets with huge smiles and polished badges.

    As we sat in the briefing room, we could barely sit still anxiously awaiting

    our turn to be introduced and given our beat assignment or, for the lay

    person, our own portion of the city to "serve and protect."

    It was then that he walked in. A statue of a man - 6 foot 3 and 230 pounds of

    solid muscle, he had black hair with highlights of gray and steely eyes that

    make you feel nervous even when he wasn't looking at you. He had a reputation

    for being the biggest and the smartest officer to ever work our fair city. He

    had been on the department for longer than anyone could remember and those

    years of service had made him into somewhat of a legend.

    The new guys, or "rookies" as he called us, both respected and feared him.

    When he spoke even, the most seasoned officers paid attention. It was almost

    a privilege when one the rookies got to be around when he would tell one of

    his police stories about the old days. But we knew our place and never

    interrupted for fear of being shooed away. He was respected and revered by

    all who knew him.

    After my first year on the department I still had never heard or saw him

    speak to any of the rookies for any length of time. When he did speak to them

    all he would say was, "So, you want to be a policeman do you hero? I'll tell

    you what, when you can tell me what they taste like, then you can call

    yourself a real policeman."

    This particular phrase I had heard dozens of times. Me and my buddies all had

    bets about "what they taste like" actually referred to. Some believed it

    referred to the taste of your own blood after a hard fight. Others thought it

    referred to the taste of sweat after a long day's work. Being on the

    department for a year, I thought I knew just about everyone and everything.

    So one afternoon, I mustered up the courage and walked up to him. When he

    looked down at me, I said "You know, I think I've paid my dues. I've been in

    plenty of fights, made dozens of arrests, and sweated my butt off just like

    everyone else. So what does that little saying of yours mean anyway?" With

    that, he merely stated, "Well, seeing as how you've said and done it all, you

    tell me what it means, hero." When I had no answer, he shook his head and

    snickered, "rookies," and walked away.

    The next evening was to be the worst one to date. The night started out slow,

    but as the evening wore on, the calls became more frequent and dangerous. I

    made several small arrests and then had a real knock down drag out fight.

    However, I was able to make the arrest without hurting the suspect or myself.

    After that, I was looking forward to just letting the shift wind down and

    getting home to my wife and daughter.

    I had just glanced at my watch and it was 11:55, five more minutes and I

    would be on my way to the house. I don't know if it was fatigue or just my

    imagination, but as I drove down one of the streets on my beat, I thought I

    saw my daughter standing on someone else's porch. I looked again but it was

    not my daughter as I had first thought but merely a small child about her

    age. She was probably only six or seven years old and dressed in an oversized

    shirt that hung to her feet. She was clutching an old rag doll in her arms

    that looked older than me.

    I immediately stopped my patrol car to see what she was doing outside her

    house at such an hour by herself. When I approached, there seemed to be a

    sigh of relief on her face. I had to laugh to myself, thinking she sees the

    hero policeman come to save the day. I knelt at her side and asked what she

    was doing outside.

    She said "My mommy and daddy just had a really big fight and now mommy won't

    wake up." My mind was reeling. Now what do I do? I instantly called for

    backup and ran to the nearest window. As I looked inside I saw a man standing

    over a lady with his hands covered in blood, her blood. I kicked open the

    door, pushed the man aside and checked for a pulse, but unable to find one. I

    immediately cuffed the man and began doing CPR on the lady.
    It was then I heard a small voice from behind me, "Mr. Policeman, please make

    my mommy wake up." I continued to perform CPR until my backup and medics

    arrived but they said it was too late. She was dead.

    I then looked at the man. He said, "I don't know what happened. She was

    yelling at me to stop drinking and go get a job and I had just had enough. I

    just shoved her so she would leave me alone and she fell and hit her head."

    As I walked the man out to the car in handcuffs, I again saw that little

    girl. In the five minutes that has passed, I went from hero to monster. Not

    only was I unable to wake up her mommy, but now I was taking daddy away too.

    Before I left the scene, I thought I would talk to the little girl. To say

    what, I don't know. Maybe just to tell her I was sorry about her mommy and

    daddy. But as I approached, she turned away and I knew it was useless and I

    would probably make it worse.

    As I sat in the locker room at the station, I kept replaying the whole thing

    in my mind. Maybe if I would have been faster or done something different,

    just maybe that little girl would still have her mother. And even though it

    may sound selfish, I would still be the hero.

    It was then that I felt a large hand on my shoulder. I heard that all too

    familiar question again, "Well, hero, what do they taste like?"

    But before I could get mad or shout some sarcastic remark, I realized that

    all the pent up emotions had flooded the surface and there was a steady

    stream of tears cascading down my face. It was at that moment that I realized

    what the answer to his question was.
    Tears.

    With that, he began to walk away, but he stopped. "You know, there was

    nothing you could have done differently," he said. "Sometimes you can do

    everything right and still the outcome is the same. STAND TALL , STAND PROUD

    WELCOME TO THE SACRED WORLD OF 'A POLICE OFFICER'."

    May G-d bless you keep you safe, and always keep you in His loving care.

    Compliments of your Police Chaplain
    May G-d bless you, keep you safe, and always keep you in his loving care

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