Monday, November 22, 2010


We made our way to the back room where I knew our party would be waiting for us. We were late. He was tired. He had made it clear to me on the way over that he was too tired.  But I had family in town. A sister. One of my closest and very best friends. Her husband and kids. We were having an adult dinner at a favorite restaurant and all the local family would also be present.  The table was large and round. My favorite kind of restaurant table. You can actually converse with everyone versus only the folks directly next to or in front of you like a rectangular table offers. See, I think about these things. With as many siblings as I have, and such vibrant personalities that we've all been graced with, I never want to miss a beat.

CA Cop is the silent type. While generally comical in nature he usually keeps a low profile at the overwhelming family gatherings that tend to ensue with my side of the family.

We took our seats, placed our orders and the dialogue began. CA Cop was in the hot seat. Everyone wanting to know all the details. It really is a fascinating job. Its an intriguing job too. I looked at him, exhausted from the night shift, sun burnt from a softball tournament that he had played in that threw off his sleeping schedule, and weary of having to make his brain function enough to feed the curiosity of my family members.

On and on he went. Telling of his adventures and conquests thus far. Trying his best to answer the questions "on behalf of all cops".

Then they started. The "jerk" cop stories. He and I chuckled occasionally. CA Cop tried to give his best explanation as to why the officer may have handled the situation in that manner.

...And I thought about the fights with suspects, the bloody bodies robbed of life, the sobbing victims of domestic violence, the children he had seen living in tragic circumstances, the accident victims that he comforted as they bled on the pavement, and the ever present awareness of life and death that an officer is faced with each day.

I looked at my man, squeezed his hand under the table cloth, and took a deep breath as I fumbled to try and direct the conversation else where.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Apparently CA Cop and I don't live in the safest of areas. Not that there are any real safe havens in the bay area. But when a fellow officer remarks that "you couldn't pay me to live there", well, then you know your city is not viewed in the highest regards. I looked up the stats and noticed that we are averaging at least 1 homicide per month, a couple rapes per month, burglaries deep into the double digits, and on it goes.  The high school we graduated from has had a couple shootings already this school year. You get the picture.

But this is where we both were raised. This is where our families are. Heck, it might be what gave CA Cop just the right amount of street smarts to perform his job well, and to be able relate to the people he comes in contact with.

At any rate, it was a conscious decision that CA Cop and I made to purchase a home here.  We looked into other cities, spent countless hours looking at real estate information in nearby towns. Ultimately, we just decided that we loved having our kids so close to so many loving family members. CA Cop carefully selected our neighborhood, which included talking to local officers, driving by at all hours of the day and night while our house was in escrow, and of course prayer.  So, I guess I do feel mostly safe where we are at. He signed us up for a nice burglar alarm contract, one of those fancy wireless kind. I turn the motion detector on downstairs before I go to bed each night. This is nice to have, especially when he worked nights.

Last night, the kids were tucked tightly in their respective bed and crib and CA Cop had retreated to our bedroom.  I was making his lunch for the next day.  The ghetto bird (I dropped that term just to prove my "street cred") began buzzing overhead... And continued.  Seriously loud.  I started peering into my backyard expecting to see a spot light, it sounded like it was directly above us. I finished making his lunch, turned on the alarm, and headed upstairs. It had been 20 minutes and it was still circling.

That's when I remembered.  I had downloaded a police scanner app onto my phone. Perfect. I love technology. I snuggled in next to CA Cop with the warm glow of my cell phone's LED screen lighting our faces and the comforting sounds of the police scanner as the officers directed the helicopter which backyards to fly over, searching for the armed suspect.

I was thinking about the men and women whose voices I heard on that scanner, away from their families, protecting mine. I was thinking about the dispatchers and the level of alertness they had to be on to help protect those officers and direct their backup where to go. I didn't quite comprehend how huge of a role the dispatchers played in the safety of my husband each day, until I heard it firsthand as they assisted someone else's husband.  Thank you.

We stayed that way. Long after the helicopter had been called off. Long after numerous suspects had been apprehended for various crimes. Listening to the scanner. Me, occasionally asking questions about what the various codes were. Him, commenting on the numerous, unceasing calls. 

And curled up together we dozed off........just like that......listening to the police scanner.....So, there you have it, just a little glimpse into our home life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pig Tails and Heartache

A little girl bounced into the police station with her mom in tow. CA Cop sat across the table from the pair as he asked her to retell her version of the events that had transpired at the apartment complex where she lives.  Big brown eyes looked up at him as she relayed the information of her sexual assault by some boys, children as well, just a few years older than she was and involving a weapon.

He called me prior to meeting with the "suspects". Asked how the kids were and carried on with his job. I felt it in my heart that day.  Thinking about the details that he was hearing. The pain that he was viewing first hand. A child. A baby girl, we have a baby girl. Also, to think about the little boys that victimized her.  What were their examples? Where were all these kids’ parents at? This was no game of doctor from the account she gave.

After more information came in, new details were learned and things were put together, "Babe, she did it readily and willingly, made them the offer, and not just with these boys, several others as well."

"I don't know which scenario is more disturbing?"

CA Cop shook his head, looked up at me and said, "You know what the crazy thing was, she had her hair in pigtails. You know, with matching beads."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homicide in Bay Town

Some things that cops experience are quite comical, yes, but there is also a dark side. A somber side.

When CA Cop was gearing up for the academy and our life was adjusting, friends and family would ask me what I thought of his career choice.  Was I scared? How did I feel about that? Etc.  My biggest concern was that I didn't want him to change. I love my man, dearly. He is a sweetheart, a real easy going guy.  My large family jokes that whoever is sitting next to CA Cop is always in a fit of laughter because the comments he throws out are usually darned right hilarious (and off color). He has been the best part of my life for the last 10 years.

I was worried that with the dirtbags around here, the things officers have to see, and the disrespect cops are treated with, that he would become jaded. Hard. Bitter at society and the evil it harbors.

I'm completely ashamed to admit this, but his mom and I cried on the way home from his academy orientation. We were swelling with pride at our new found warrior and also fearing the unknown of what this LEO life would bring. Of course, we were concerned for his safety. But as we organized and sorted through our emotions on that drive home we agreed that we were more worried about losing that mellow, happy guy that everbody likes, to a tangled and twisted world where the battle to defend the innocent seems so overwhelming and unchanging.

My phone rang. It was his ring. Pleased to be receiving a call from him in the early part of his shift, I rushed to grab it. I held the phone to Shasta's ear, he knows the ring too. "Hi Dada. Bye". The same three word sentence every time, but I love to hear the smile in CA Cop's voice that only those three words can bring.

He let me know he was on the scene of a homicide.  His first homicide. It was gruesome. His voice was soft, distracted and he spoke quickly.  The victim was tortured. Almost "unrecognizable as human". I distinctly remember him uttering that phrase. Body blugeoned.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Can't talk, but I know you'll see it on the news." He was annoyed at me for even asking about how he was doing, I could tell. This is what he does now.  This is a reality of his job and so of course he is okay, I could hear his thoughts, I swear.

He got home the next morning and I greeted him at the door before the kids did. I studied his face. Took in his features.

"You okay? Was that hard?"

"I'm fine. Really. It's okay. It's okay."

There was light in his eyes. His face was tired, but not saddened. His touch was soft and not stiff.  His shoulders not tense and rigid, but warm and welcoming. I grabbed his lunch box and papers as he picked up his babies one in each arm and carried them over to the couch.  They screamed as he tossed them one at a time onto the pillows that I neatly place in order about 75 times a day. They landed softly and begged him for more. He tickled their bellies and then collapsed onto the couch along side them. 

And I processed it all. He is strong. He has good things to come home to.

And I knew, this is just a reality of the job.  Of course he's okay and he will continue to be okay.

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Offer

He walked in through the front door with blood shot eyes. Glossy, sleep deprived.  The kids squealed as their feet pounded on the wood floor of the entry way trying to maneuver into CA Cop's arms amidst his lunch box, gun, badge, jacket, court subpoenas, etc. I tell you, having a two year old and a three year old sounds like a full daycare sometimes.  I smile as I glance at the view from the kitchen into my entry way. I love watching him walk through that door. Home.

He placed his items on the kitchen island with the last bit of energy he could muster, then collapsed onto the carpeted family room.  The kids immediately took up residency on the lump of daddy that now adorned their play area.  Shasta sat on his Daddy's back, while Sierra rubbed her feet on his "fuzzy" newly cut hair (its always newly cut because he goes to the Barber EVERY week, any other officer's do the same?)

I finished preparing breakfast.  There were a few things I liked about his grave shift.  We got to have breakfast as a family each work day and we always had dinner together too.  Day shift provides for neither, but it allows him some solid sleep and the kids don't have to tiptoe around the house because he's sleeping. Plus he is far more "present" on his days off.

The kids finished their breakfast and I turned on a cartoon for them.  CA Cop and I sat at the table as he told me about his night in between bites of french toast with hot syrup (seriously, who can stand cold syrup?).

"Oh, yeah! I got my first offer tonight, " he said it with a grin and a glimmer in his eye.

"What do you mean by that?" I braced for the punch line, there's no telling with him.

Apparently CA Cop arrested a female that night. And as they locked the cuffs on her and were heading to the car she turned to them.

"Please, I'll do anything to get out of this."

Emphasis being put on the word anything. CA Cop said that he and his partner just smiled at each other and guided her head down into the patrol car.

And so it is. A typical day can include a v neck shirt that suddenly borderlines indecent exposure once pulled over by the police. Or better yet some sorority sisters skinny dipping in a closed pool after hours. How about that car full of strippers in their 5 inch stilettos that needed to be searched. And of course the "offers" to get out of tickets and arrests.

"Well, was she at least hot?"

"Actually, she wasn't too bad." (I should add that I am definitely not the jealous type.)  

We share a knowing laugh as we lock eyes. "At least the job comes with some perks, right?"

It really can be pretty comical- our new normal.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Fight

I was darned near getting a second hand high off the adrenaline that was emitting through my phone's speaker as he relayed the events of the previous few hours. His first foot pursuit and his first combative suspect that he was able to "try out" some of his defensive tactics on.  All within a matter of minutes. 

It was his first day on day shift after completing FTO. "Oh and by the way, I'll need a new uniform."

"Bring it home for me to see", I replied.

We don't live in the town where he works. And you see, out here in the Bay Area our cops aren't allowed to drive home in uniform.  At least not at my husbands department and everyone else's that I know. It's just too dangerous. They'd be a moving "target".  Many of the gang initiations include shooting or injuring a police officer.  So twisted.  Plus the racial tensions are peaking, but that's for another post.  So, I feel kinda jipped. CA Cop in his uniform is eye candy that I crave. But I digress..

When he came home that night he brought his uniform with him.  Torn hole in the knee, ripped and dangling shoulder piece, and the material worn in spots from rubbing against the pavement.  His knee was scraped and bloody and his forearm in its entirety was covered in a pattern one could only describe as road rash.  In fact, a few small rocks were crusted over with blood and stuck to his wounds. And this was after a battle he had won. He was beaming.  A rite of passage, I guessed. His knuckles hurt from some blows he had delivered to the suspect’s rib cage, which I learned, had been the decided factor to go ahead and "stop resisting".

I was lost in my own thoughts. So he got in a fight today. Wow.  I guess I should add that CA Cop is, if I'm not too cliché to say "a lover and not a fighter". I was pleased to see that when necessary the latter would be a plausible option.

My thoughts were interrupted. Sierra approached her dad and examined the freshly disturbed flesh. She looked up at him with her big blue eyes. "Is that from a bad guy, daddy?" She's so aware, doesn't miss a beat.

"No, baby, bad guys won't ever hurt daddy."

And I think to myself.  This time the bumps and bruises are metals of achievement. He came out on top.  At the end of the day I hope that every bandage I prepare for him is delivered to a man that has that same look of accomplishment in his eyes.

Never defeat.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How did we get here?

Some of you wives married a cop, or a soldier, or a cadet, but mine was none of those.  I have to tell you that I honestly never pictured or planned for this, but I'm grateful for the path he has chosen.  I think it’s honorable. And quite frankly, he's good at it too.  CA Cop graduated 2nd in his class at the academy and was released from FTO an entire week early which I think is pretty unprecedented. His coworkers have said he's a natural.  His sergeant uttered the term "rising star".  But still, I had no clue he'd be bleeding blue.

Sure he had gone on a ride along in high school, and mentioned to me once in casual conversation "you know what I'd love to do? Be a cop".  I just never realized it was more than a casual desire, it was a yearning. So here we are today. 

We were so called entrepreneurs prior to our LEO life. Rental properties by the scads, investments, small businesses.  A different life. We have a daughter, 3 (Sierra), and a son, 2 (Shasta).  I stay home with them, which is my passion. When CA Cop decided to really pursue a career in Law Enforcement because "if he didn't do it now, he might regret it forever", we started to put properties on the market and hold our breath.  The hiring for police officers in the bay area is tough right now.  Real tough.  They are laying officers off left and right.  One local city announced they were to hire 3 officers and they instantly received over 1100 applications.  The competition is fierce.

He put himself through the academy on a prayer that he'd get picked up by a department. He got two offers.

So here we are.
It's where he belongs. 

It's where we belong, and I'm grateful.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


"Exposure to hazardous bodily fluids".  He dropped the hospital paperwork on the island counter as though it were only some junk mail he had gathered from the mail box. I saw the headline on the top page, but chose to ignore it.  I say "ignore" but really I felt the slightest tinge of fear run through my body for that split second.  I'd look them over later, but not now. Now, I just wanted to put my hands on his broad shoulders and welcome him home.  It was late he had worked nearly 13 hours, then had the 40 minute bay area commute home to our suburb.  Even after 8pm brake lights line the freeway.  The kids were already in bed.  Dinner of his choice was still steaming in the crock pot as I hurried to prepare his plate.  How are you? What exactly happened? The details? He sat on his reclining chair and directed me as to what he would like on his plate.  He knew I was eager to do anything at all for him tonight.  After the day he had, I wanted him to know that he always had good things to come home to. "Not now," he said, "I don't want to talk about it while I'm eating." He flipped the TV on and we watched Cops just like we do every Saturday night. 

He had called me in the late morning that day. He informed that he was dispatched to a domestic dispute in one of the apartment complexes in Bay Town. He arrived to find a highly intoxicated black male screaming and out of control, naked.  Naked Drunk while handcuffed was still not complying and when CA Cop was shouting his orders Naked Drunk spit in his face. The toxic liquid went into CA Cop's nose, mouth, eyes.

I didn't know what to say. Disgusting. I'm so sorry. He was fine. He was just irritated because now he had to leave work to go to the hospital for blood work. He also got some of the guy’s blood on his arm, apparently. 

So rationally, I know that the odds of him getting transferred anything "hazardous" via saliva are probably extremely small and CA Cop did not have any open cuts in the areas of the blood exposure. Logically, I totally knew that. But what I don't know is how often is this the type of call that I will get? "Hey, babe, gotta get my blood drawn and tested for horrendous incurable diseases because some piece of crap druggy decided to fight with me?" We are not even nine months into his career.  We are rookies. I'm a rookie at being a cop wife. This was the moment that I decided to write this blog.  I really felt alone.  I felt like I wanted to talk to another wife or another officer.  Just because I have grown to learn that you have to be a part of this police world to fully understand it.  From the applications to the testing to the academy to the swearing in to FTO, you have to live it to "get" it. So wives and officers, welcome me into this blog world and enlighten me, in an officer's career how typical is this scenario? What's been your experience? Enlighten me, please.

CA Cop received a tetanus shot and they drew his blood. Results should be in this week, but honestly, we are not concerned. He got a foot rub, sweet pork nachos for dinner, and homemade sour cream vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese filling. He's fine, just another day doing what he loves.