We were discussing this the other night at meal break. I was joking around with the guys because the seat I chose had me with my back to the front door of the restaurant, but I was facing a full length wall mirror which afforded me a great view of everything behind me. This got me thinking about an idea for this post.

When you see a cop working, hopefully you see (outwardly) a calm cool collected sumbitch. We are trained to keep our composure when everyone around us are losing theirs. Instinctively we run towards the trouble when everyone else is running away from it and we are trained to take control of the situation by any means necessary and available. This is the warrior in us.

The flip side of this is that we always have a worst case scenario situation for every minute of every day playing in the back of our minds. We play the grown up version of the “what if” game we all played as children (the grown up cop game is a darker and more pragmatic version) This is the worrier part of us.

As in:

  • What if the guy in the next car at the red light is a maniac with a weapon?
  • What if I walk into the local 7-11 to get a gatorade while its being held up?
  • What if the alarm call I’m being sent to is legitimate instead of another false alarm?
  • What if the unknown or 911 hangup I’m being sent to is some home invasion, murder or equally hideous situation?
  • What if the guy I just pulled over for a traffic infraction has a warrant, drugs and or a weapon in the car?
  • What if the woman who just called 911 because her boyfriend just hit her goes bezerk when I put the handcuffs on him (because she only called to scare him away from her)?

We don’t play this game in our heads for the woe is me value, we play it so we already have some sort of game plan to fall back on if the shit hits the fan and call goes to crap quickly. And it happens more times than you would think.

This mentality bleeds through to regular life as well as when I’m working.

  • I very rarely leave the house without at least two sometimes three personal protection products on my person. Even if I’m just going to the corner store for a gallon of milk.
  • I’m usually in a bladed off stance with nothing in my hands even when talking to my closest friends
  • No one ever gets to stand behind me if I have anything to say about it.
  • I’m always checking around to make sure everything is “as it should be”

Being a cop, for me is and will continue to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. But there was  a trade off that I made when I became a cop. I got my shiny new badge, but in return I gave away my innocence, naivete and the ability to just be in the moment. At the moment it is still a good trade.



  1. It is this that scares my wife most as I am working toward becoming a cop (getting in shape). I mean, I have always thought like this to a slight degree since I was ALWAYS the biggest guy in school, growing up, so every time someone wanted to prove that they were tough they ‘picked a fight with the big guy’, and as a result I got attacked on nearly a daily basis…

    But I’m sure that it will only be likely to increase, if anything.

    Oh well, we’ll see.

  2. Anon- Thank you,Let your wife know that it does take some getting used to (Enforcerwife can attest to that) but it is well worth the sacrifice. And yes they still try to take down the big guy when you get on the job. Good thing is though, you get a lot of practice dealing with it. Good luck with getting on. It still is a great profession

  3. I think all the cops I know think like this. It is a constant state of ready. Which is actually kind of sad. But someone’s gotta do it, and the rest of relaxed folks appreciate it.

  4. I’ve noticed the same changes in my brother since he’s been on the force. But it’s a subtle change from the outside looking in. He’s always been a protector type. I think all good cops start out that way. 🙂

    Great blog. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. So, along those lines, do you also find yourself struggling to not look as everybody who’s not a police officer as a potential “bad guy? I’ve heard that this is a struggle for some – you’re either a cop, a bad guy (family sometimes excepted), or you’re going to be a bad guy some day.

  6. Stacey- Sometimes I wanna be just ordinary, but its like eating the apple, once I got the knowledge theres no going back.

    Venessa- The changes are subtle to people but, th elearning process began day one of the academy and class never lets out on that bit of learning. Im glad you got a good one protecting you. Make sure he vests up always!!!

    Pastor- Sadly I do a little bit, I try not too but it is there. As you know everyone has the potential for goodness or evil. In my line of work not assessing the potential for evil can be catostrophic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s