Monday, December 5, 2011

Thirsty Anyone?

CA Cop could tell they were trying to avoid him. The late model Chrysler with the spinning rims made a few quick turns and caught the officer's darting eyes. The three male occupants were in their mid 20's- CA Cop correctly estimated as he called in the stop to dispatch. The driver of the teal green vehicle hesitated only briefly after his eyes met the flashing red and blue reflection in his rear view mirror. He pulled the pimped out ride to the curb of a main Baytown thoroughfare. CA Cop cautiously approached the vehicle.  Robotically, he pressed his fingers on the rear of the car.  The smell of skunk slapped him in the face and made the cop smile just enough to reveal that enchanting twinkle in his eyes.  He now had cause to search the group of hardcore players.  As he and his partners pulled each adult out of their sweet ride the cop couldn't help but noticed that brand names checkered their clothing.  A swag group, no doubt.  As CA Cop searched one of the males he felt a large bottle in the man's front pocket.  He lifted up the clear plastic bottle and discovered that his hand now held a container which was filled with an amber-yellow liquid.  A hand warmer was securely taped to the outside of the bottle keeping its contents at, shall we say, "body temperature" warmth.

Yes folks. our thugged out, clean fitted gentleman was carrying a bottle of urine in his designer jeans.

CA Cop stared in disbelief. 

Well at least that's what I would do.  At this point, I don't know if things like this still shock him.

CA Cop stared in disgust, "What the hell are you doing with your life, brother? Your are 25 years old and driving around with a bottle full of piss in your pocket just so you can get high? And not fail your drug test? You are a loser. Only a complete loser would have someone else's piss in their pocket."

Hey honey, at least he showed some ingenuity with the hand warmer and scotch tape.  Points for that, right?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stolen Car

So I was with a girlfriend the other day.  She needed to pick up her stolen car that was recovered by our Hometown PD.  I was there for moral support.  It was interesting to watch her, as a victim of the crime.  We came armed with antibacterial wipes and rubber gloves, convinced that whoever perpetrated such a crime must've also left all kinds of bodily fluids and goo throughout the vehicle. CA Cop had offered his input:

"The interior will have ashes everywhere and smell like bud. Oh and an empty hard liquor bottle will be rolling around on the floor board of the back seat."

I went ahead and looked up some information online about reclaiming a stolen vehicle and ended up reading horror stories about drug needles left pointing up in the drivers seat and all sorts of awful things. *I recommend skipping this step if you ever have to go pick up a stolen vehicle*

We were greeted by the friendly woman at the front desk of the Tow Company (wolf in sheep's clothing, let me tell you, just wait til you hear what the bill was).  She went on and on about what a cute car my friend had and that it was in great shape.  We followed her out to the tow yard and there amidst crumpled and neglected vehicles was my friend's shiny sedan. It appeared out of place among its current company.  We hesitantly approached it and peered in through the windows.  The driver and passenger seats were reclined so far back that they were nearly resting on the backseat. I rolled my eyes at this observation as I pictured the freakin' thugs who may have been lounging in her vehicle. Other than that the interior looked unscathed, I mean seriously not an ash nor a bottle. Not a hair and certainly no needles.  We gloved up before we touched anything and wiped it down with the germ removers three times over for peace of mind. 

Her car had been in the tow yard for an hour and a half and had been towed less than three miles to the yard.  The bill was $300.  Yup.  I was shocked, I felt like she was victimized twice.

It was an interesting experience, one that I hope to not have to repeat.  Later that evening I was explaining to CA Cop just how clean the interior of her vehicle was when it occurred to me,

"Hey, how come Hometown PD didn't dust for fingerprints or anything? I mean clearly they didn't because there was no dust in her car."

"I never dust for prints"

"Really? Never?"

"Nope, well I guess I occasionally do a what I like to call a 'PR dusting'."

Half joking I said, "What do mean? The owner is standing right there so you sprinkle some dust around his car with no intention of lifting a print?"

:"Yep."

"Seriously? You just sprinkle dust everywhere?"

"Yep."

I sat there and pictured this. Him sprinkling dust everywhere, the poor victim hoping the dirt bag will be brought to justice. But its just not a priority in Baytown or in Hometown. CA Cop says there are hundreds of fingerprints in and around cars and its just not practical to collect the prints.

So what's your experience with stolen vehicles? Is this typical where you live/work? Were you shocked by that tow fee?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rest In Peace Officer Capoot

My heart is breaking for the family of 19 year police veteran of Vallejo PD, Officer Jim Capoot. He was gunned down and shot in the back multiple times while pursuing bank robbery suspects.  He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.  I ache for them. On the news last night they kept showing the flag draped casket leaving the hospital surrounded by the somber officers with empty expressions as they treated their fallen brother's remains with care and dignity.

Thank you Sir, for your service and your sacrifice.  God bless your family.

The full story is located here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Overheard At Family Dinner

Seated around the table. We chatted as we chewed our food and enjoyed the meal.  My mom had cooked one of CA Cop's all time favorites and he happily worked away at the meat and potatoes on his plate.

"This ham is great!" He announced in the direction of my mom.

Across the table my older brother couldn't resist, "Isn't that kinda like cannibalism?"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shoring Up the Castle Walls

"What is the phone number to the alarm company?" CA Cop has asked me this a few times, well actually he has been asking me to call and I keep forgetting, "Will it be on the sign in our front yard?"

You see there has been a RASH of home burglaries in Baytown (technically in the entire bay area and certainly including our home town). 

"I've seen the emotional damage..... and that's my main concern." Then he went on to list the items in our home that may be of interest to the dirtbags.

He is wanting to order another motion detector or two for our home to patrol our darkened rooms while we sleep or to help shore up the castle walls while I am running errands during the day. 

His sleep has been bothered. He dreams of break ins. Often.  Very. Often.  A gust of wind rattling a door caused him to spring up in bed with a "WHAT WAS THAT?" Only to retreat back to his pillow equally as fast with no recollection of it the next morning.

But sometimes he does recall the dreams.  They are vivid as he scrambles to protect his family.

He changed all the batteries in our smoke detectors the other day.......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And I Think To Myself.......

Today I got a phone call from CA Cop that went something like this:

Me- "Hello"

CA Cop- "He--- oh, sorry I'll have to call you back."

As I hung up the phone I stood in my kitchen and observed my surroundings. Remnants of the day were distributed throughout my home, but I became caught up in the four paintings laying out to dry on my kitchen counter.  It became one of those moments.  The type where you just let the impact set in.  I was thinking how blessed I was to have been present when those paintings were dreamed up and then created. And when they were completed, I got to wash the paint off their little fingers, cheeks, and arms.



In the kitchen I could hear them, happily screaming and enjoying each others imaginative chatter from within the "fort" built from blankets and kitchen chairs in my family room.


I am so grateful that I get to be home with my babies at this time in their lives.  That I know why their fingernails are dirty, if their foreheads feel too hot, and if they have cried that day.  I know what adventure Shasta was on when he got that hole in his jeans and I know what color(s) Sierra wants me to paint her nails.  There is nothing else that I would rather be doing, at this time, during this phase in my life.


Not because there is nothing else that I could be doing, but because I know that I am irreplaceable in only one place.


Today, CA Cop could not even pause for a moment to say "hello."  As for me, I got to relish in my moment, staring at those works of art.  I am so grateful to have a husband who finds my desired role as a mother and a homemaker as respected and uplifted as I do. Truly I am grateful.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Figuring It All Out

"I think I've figured it out!" He announced this as he came into the kitchen.  Arms crossed, he leaned back against the counter.

I had no idea what he was talking about, but clearly it was something that had been causing him some mental conflict.

"I think I have such little patience for the kid's noises because I can't escape noise all day long.  Baytown has a nonstop stream of radio traffic flowing from the dispatchers to my radio and then directly into my eardrum. It never stops."

I wrinkled my brow at him, sad that he was feeling inadequate in his parenting and also really finding an understanding in how freaking annoying that would be.  I mean seriously, on a 12+ hour shift his radio is never turned off, not for lunch, not for bathroom break, not for a quick phone call to me, not for any reason.  And so the incessant noise oozes into that amazing brain of his, via his custom fit ear piece, all the while he multi tasks. 

Thanks for giving me that little nugget of perspective. I can be a better wife to you when I know where you're coming from and something as simple as that bit of enlightenment helps me understand just that much more about your day and what you need when you get home.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Snapshots of a Cop's Wife's Life II

Sierra watching TV with an unusual backrest.  Looks comfy enough.

Ahh, I love this girl!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Enlighten Me.....Job Realities

My legs were draped over the armrest of the recliner as I sipped from my water bottle and began to unwind from the long day.  The squeals of "Daddy, yay, daddy," flowed past her closed door, down the stairs, and were audible over my blaring TV show. The sheer joy was contagious.  I could picture her probably standing on her pink canopy bed shuffling her curtains to the side to catch a glimpse of him pulling into the driveway.  She had heard the garage door open.  I stood up to greet him. Arms full he made his way in through the garage. He threw his duty belt down and began peeling off the layers. I put my hands around his neck and kissed his cheek.  The little footsteps could be heard making their way down the stairs.  She rounded the bottom step and came flying into the family room. She and I smiled at each other as she flung herself at her target. He scooped her up with a kiss on the top of her shiny brown hair. We both completely adore him.  Even through her chatter about the day you could see the stress and exhaustion on his face.  His blue eyes don't hide much.  She scampered up the stairs in front of him.  She knew he would sing to her and tuck her back in, 

He was expressionless as he came downstairs, grabbed the laptop, and collapsed on the couch. 

He was quiet for some time before he spoke.

"I can't get it off my mind.... that case today."

I knew it, baby, you didn't even have to say it out loud.  It was displayed in the worry lines on your face, in the heaviness of your shoulders, the near dragging in your steps.

I moved from the recliner to the couch and put his sore feet on my lap to help relieve his concerns in the small way I was capable of.

She was a 7 year old girl and he was her uncle, they were inside a car in a parking lot, and I am sure you can figure out the rest.  Witnesses called Baytown PD and CA Cop was the first on the scene.

There really is such an ugly medley of evil that our officers must extinguish or contain each and every relentless day.  My concern is can they really remain stoic and unscathed with all the exposure? Does it slowly tear into their foundation over time or if they build the walls tall enough through God and family can they keep the fortress strong?

I guess I'm asking for some enlightenment....I would love to hear from officers and family members walking in all different stages of this life.  Are you affected by what you see? In a permanent way or is it more temporary? Have you noticed differences in your officer the more they are exposed to or as each year passes in this profession?

They just see and hear so much.....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gangland, CA

We were in the grocery store, just the two of us. We saw him at the end of the aisle, an old high school friend. They exchanged greetings.  I noticed that while CA Cop seemed genuine he carefully steered the conversation he was having away from anything personal and certainly away from work. They smiled and parted ways and we continued our shopping.

"He's still in a gang." CA Cop said informing me of specifically which gang, "I can tell by his haircut."

Haircut? Who knew?

CA Cop spots them everywhere. It's their hat with a specific letter, Its their jacket with specific numbers, its the color of the stripes on their shirt, the roman numerals in their tattoos, the colors they wear, and the list goes on and on and on and on. Motorcycle gangs, street gangs, turf gangs.  I had no idea that there were so many different brands of local gangs or chapters. 

Awareness is good, right?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Waste

Ok, so I know that this post will probably not be a popular one. But I can't help but publicize this observation that I have had about our court system and the amount of wasted tax dollars that seem to so freely flow out those judicial doors (and often into my very own bank account).

CA Cop gets a minimum of 4 hours of time and a half pay if he drives his well toned butt to those courthouse steps. Period. End of story. Cha Ching. Sometimes he is there for 4 hours sometimes he is there for 5 minutes.  More often than not he is there for 30 minutes or less. We appreciate the court overtime. As I am sure all LEO families do.

So here are my concerns, as a public citizen, separate from being a Cop Wife who likes the extra padding in the bank account.

CA Cop ALWAYS calls the court house the day before to confirm that the trial (or whatever court proceeding it may be) is confirmed to happen the next day. Occasionally they will let him know that it has been continued but often times they give him the thumbs up and so he sets his alarm clock for the next day accordingly.  Then he and 4 other officers (or however many worked the case/scene) show up all clocking in their 4 hours of time and a half at their respective pay rates only to discover that the suspect called in ill 3 days ago and the trial has been continued for another day.  Or the suspect is in jail in a different county and won't be in.  Or the prosecutor left on an emergency out of town 5 days ago and so the case has been delayed.  And on and on it goes.  5 officers collect their overtime from the public coffers and continue on their merry way. 5 officers that should have been informed the day before when they ALL called in the day before to check on the trial.

Shouldn't someone, somewhere have known that Suspect B for trial 38G was jailed up in some other county within 24-48 hours of their court date?

I am certain that I know very little about the complexities of a courthouse and of our judicial system, so perhaps I am just revealing my ignorance with this post. But I am shocked at how time and again he does an about face upon arriving at the courthouse because of some preexisting problem with the suspect/attorneys/judges/other officers/etc.  I understand the unforeseen issues of evidence and attorney delays, etc.  And I am not at all saying that once he's there he should not be paid. Our plans were postponed, family time was delayed, and precious sleep was lost so he better darned well be paid, but seriously?  If the suspect has a sinus infection on Monday can't we let the officer's know by Thursday that the 5 of them need not show up and cost the tax payers $1100 for nothing?

Okay, let me have it.  Please tell me I am wrong, or misunderstanding, or should shut up and be grateful for the incompetence of the government agencies because heck I'm personally profiting.......

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Even in the Bay Area

He had just sat down to eat. Finally. It was busy. The calls seemed endless and tedious on this particular day shift. Dispatch rang out in his ear.  The sounds of the radio echoing around his ear drums. His beat.

CA Cop swallowed some water as he responded. The dispatcher sounded annoyed, he could hear it in her voice.

"Caller claims there are three suspicious juveniles in her neighborhood, yet she cannot articulate anything about them or their actions that is suspicious."

He hopped in the patrol car and headed up the hill to the ritzy neighborhood.  It didn't take him long to spot the three black males. They were young, laughing as they took their skateboards up and down the hill in the sunshine of the early afternoon.

CA Cop rolled his eyes as he exited the yuppie neighborhood, lined with suburbans and newer model sedans.  He headed back to his lunch.  There was no way he was going to bother those kids. They were good kids. 

Just apparently the wrong color for the neighborhood........

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lessons In Texting

Dear CA Cop,

I really appreciate that when you were running 4+ hours late the other night you took the first moment you had to text me. It really means a lot.  You know I worry about you, honey.

Just a little helpful tip.  Under similar circumstances in the future, I would greatly appreciate it if you could please refrain from making the first line of the first contact we've had in over 7 hours be "I'm in the hospital".

Even though you so kindly went on to explain that you were waiting on a victim.  I nearly had to pick myself up off the floor. For future reference I have compiled a list of suggested alternatives to "I'm in the hospital". Please use freely and apply substitutions when/where necessary:

#1.) I'm with a rape victim waiting at the hospital. Don't know when I'll be home.
#2.) Waiting with rape victim at hospital. Not sure when I'll be done.
or
#3.) Going to be a long night. Just waiting on a victim to be checked at hospital.

Again, thank you so much for the text. You were definitely missed sorry it was such a very long night. You were exhausted.

With Love,
CA Cop Wife

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wash Day II

In my previous post describing an experience I had while washing the handsome CA Cop's uniform I took the time to note the care in which this process is performed.  Being that the man is still a rookie and being that a well manicured appearance is just part of his personality, the uniforms must be handled with care. Emphasis on must. I have been outlined instructions on the dos and don'ts of the "wash and wear" uniform ever since the dry clean only uniforms got shelved (or closeted). Its a labor of love, truly. I catch a glimpse of what he experiences during inspections every Sunday evening as I hang up the freshly washed and dried uniforms for him to raise a single eyebrow at before loading into the car.

Okay so now that you have the background information let me indulge your reading senses with a little happening that occurred on one such wash day.

CA Cop had just purchased a new uniform, long sleeve.  I'm talking brand spankin' new.  He may have worn it on one shift.  I was instructed to include said uniform into my wash day, along with all the proper rituals and routines that must be done in order to "properly" handle the "fragile" load.

I checked the pockets. Turned the pants inside out, buttoned and zipped, and dropped them into the sudsy-but-not-too-sudsy cold water.  I repeated the process with the top and carried on with my day.  I was ready and waiting at the sound of the buzzer and tossed the uniform into the dryer on low-heat-energy-preferred. And carried on with my day.

Half an hour later, I could see him from my position on the couch.  He entered the laundry room for some unforeseen reason and something caught his eye. There it was. My hands quickly covered my gaping mouth in horror.  A little black sleeve seemed to be waving at us from the door of the dryer. It seemed to reach out and grab his leg begging for help as he walked into the room. 

Expressionless, he looked in my direction, opened the dryer to rescue his poor baby, but it was too late.  The end of the sleeve had remained still, caught in the door, while the rest of the shirt danced around the dryer. The left arm of the shirt had been tightly twisted over and over and over and over again.  It was like nothing I had ever seen before.  He was speechless.  I was also, but for different reasons, I had to choke back the laughter- knowing that he saw no humor in the situation. I carefully, slowly, gently unwound the sleeve.

I broke the silence with a  "See, its fine!"

Placing the top on a hanger we stared.  The left sleeve was dramatically longer, cartoonish really.

I excused myself to our bedroom upstairs, I am certain he thought I was sad or embarrassed.  As I shut the door I released into a fit of laughter that gripped my stomach and made my eyes water.  Between the snorting I could hear the cop, with a lightness in his voice yell up to me "Its not funny".

Oh but it was....

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Vacation

Summertime so far......

Sand, Suntans, Swimming, Sandcastles, Snow cones. Salt water, Skating, Slip n slides.

Boating, Beaches, Boardwalk, Body surfing, Biking

Swimming in fresh water lakes, Wading in fast running Creek, Diving in chlorinated pools, Riding waves in salty ocean with dolphins nearby.

Parks, Parties, Planting, Parades, Practice Soccer, picnic lunches, pedicures.

Fireworks, Fire roasting, Fresh air, fresh fish, Floaties, FAMILY TIME, FAMILY MEMORIES.

CA Cop was able to have a bit of time off and we spent almost ever second of it as a family.

That being said I am back in the saddle with blogging.......

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Unbelievable

In my morning news perusal my jaw just about knocked the keys on my laptop when I came across this story.  I have copied it below for your convenience:

D.C. Firefighters To Help Police Streets?

Both D.C. firefighters and police officers are upset over a new program that forces the fire department to help fight crime.
   
For the past three weeks, D.C. Fire and EMS personnel have been parking their trucks at high crime neighborhoods.
"It's to prevent things from bubbling up.  The idea is that if you have a fire engine with adults there no one is going to commit a crime," said D.C. Deputy Mayor Paul Quander.
   
City officials said they just want firefighters to call 911 if they see suspicious activity.
   
The D.C. police union and firefighters union say the plan is not safe.
"I think it is a disaster," said D.C. Police Union spokesman Kris Baumann.  "You're putting untrained, unsupervised, unequipped firefighters in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in town to perform a law enforcement function."
   
Right now, the plan is to keep the policy in place at least through next spring.


-So what's your opinion? Is this a great way to help balance a cash strapped budget? Or a budget buster waiting to happen when the FD inevitably sues the city?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Duty

CA Cop rubbed his eyes. Not even 1/3 of the way through his shift and he was starting to feel worn out. It was a busy night. A warm night. The summer air kept Baytown warm enough to wear short sleeves all night long.  He had been going from call to call and was finally taking a moment to chat with some of the guys back at the station.  He pulled his phone out of his front pocket and glanced down at the time. He excused himself from the conversation and made his way outside to his patrol car.  The moonlight reflected off the shine on his boots as he lifted his right foot and then his left into the car.  He adjusted in his seat to find the most comfortable position to sit with his full duty belt around his waist, gun on one side, taser on the other. He rolled up his windows, pressed his speed dial and made the call. 

Miles away, I was kneeling at the side of the bed she would be sleeping in for the night when I heard the phone ring.  Shasta was standing up in a port a crib protesting his captivity.  Sierra knew his ring and knew why he was calling, he promised her he would.

He spoke gently to me as we exchanged brief information about our activities since we had last spoken.  He offered to help soothe Shasta and then to speak to Sierra. 

She laid on her pillow and I strained my ears as I heard him sing to her a lullaby.  The lullaby he sings to her each night.  I could picture him in my mind as he sang, in his full uniform, badge over his heart, singing to his baby girl.  As she whispered to him and told him goodnight the smell of bubblegum toothpaste filled the room.  He softly expressed to her his love and wished her good dreams.

As I got back on the phone with him I heard the radio traffic in the background beckoning him to another call.  And we hung up.

I know that sometimes his duty to his job will keep us apart physically, but I am grateful that his duty to his family will always keep us close.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Enlighten Me....Living Where You Work

Recently one of CA Cop's fellow officers has had a few run ins with a man he had arrested in the past.  Only problem is these run ins occurred at or near his home in Baytown.  Once with his family present.  The man recognized the cop before the cop recognized him.

Hearing all this talk made me curious, do you live where you work (or where your cop works)?  Have you had any issues if you do or don't? Do you prefer one way or the other?

We live a good 35 minutes from Baytown and CA Cop has still spotted an individual or two he has taken down to county.  He is pretty adamant about not living in Baytown for many reasons one of which being that he wants to be able to feel as though he is truly "off duty". 

So let me know your take on the subject and if you are happy with how you currently have it worked out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Married To A Loser

I've often wondered if someone would intervene if they happened to be eavesdropping on a conversation or two that I have had with a family member.  I can picture being in line at the grocery store yapping away on my cell.  The older couple shaking their heads in my direction, the woman gazing in sadness and concern toward my little children as their mother chit chatted away on the phone about the various trists her husband had been involved in that week. 

So I keep "cop talk" confined to the walls of our home (or key strokes of my laptop), for the most part.

Seriously, what would you think if you heard one half of the below conversation at 2:00pm on a Thursday afternoon that went something like this:

CA Cop Mom: Hi how's it going?

Me: We're doing well, CA Cop is sleeping.  There was a bar fight or something last night so he didn't come home until morning.

CA Cop Mom: Well how was his work week.

Me: Not too much going on this week. Monday he got a DUI.  Tuesday I guess there was a car full of drunk strippers who were flirting with him, he ended up getting another DUI.  Wednesday he called me when he left the jail after they had gotten in a fight with a guy but CA Cop wasn't hurt or anything.

CA Cop Mom: Okay, well you guys are welcome to come over for dinner.

Me: Okay. Take Care!

Wow, I think I would offer "Me" a dose of woman power and tell her to leave that loser!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, CA Cop

Bicycling is our new addiction. We are totally sold on the sport. Every spare hour we strap on our helmets load the kids in the trailer and take for the trails. I'm hooked.  I like to feel the sun as it transforms my arms into a golden brown, the wind as it muffles my sense of hearing and leaves me focused on my rhythmic breathing and increasing heart rate.  The smells as we pass by sprinklers slapping the edge of pavement or grass clippings blowing around a yard. My legs as the push the pedals and grow stronger with each rotation.

It is my new favorite thing to do.

And the bay area is a great place to ride. There are trails along mountains and hills, trails along beaches and lakes, trails through vineyards and farmland and redwoods, even biking trails over bridges and bays. I hope to have experienced a little bit of everything by the time the winter rains slow us down.

While out on our family rides or with just the two of us I have had the opportunity to watch "the transition" take place. I know very well that even when they are off duty an officer is still on high alert. Still scanning, planning, etc.  But I have gotten to experience CA Cop taking his "alertness" (if you will) up a threat level on some of these various outings.

If a, shall we say "thug" or "crackhead" comes within 20 feet of me or the baby trailer every thing about CA Cop's demeanor changes. His posture, his expression, his eyes (oh my do his eyes change). He is well aware of any potential "threats" long before I am and has already positioned himself accordingly or "ordered" me to a different direction, to speed up, to slow down, or to stop. It is fascinating, really. 

Most, of our outings do not give him cause to go into cop mode, but lets be real the bay area is a melting pot of cultures, ideas, religions, and unfortunately gangs and drugs.  It is what it is and yet it is our home.

As we ride I know that my husband is intently watching over our family and guiding us on our journeys, ready to rip open is shirt and transform into CA Cop at a moments notice........ (Okay, I know he's not a superhero[but your dang close, honey] but a girl can dream a little.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In A Flash

CA Cop had the suspect back at the station.

He was preparing her for a trip down to county after she had been taking a joy ride around Baytown in a stolen vehicle. The younger, slightly overweight, female was nervous about her trip although it would not be her first.

CA Cop was telling her what type of repercussions would arise if she had any drugs still hidden on her person when she was delivered into the hands of the deputies.  He advised her to surrender any narcotics (if there were any) to Baytown PD prior to climbing into the backseat of his patrol car for the jaunt down to county.

"I ain't got nothin officer, I promise,"

And with that line she grabbed the bottom edges of her shirt and moved it up her body.  Her fingers also clasped the under wire of her enormous bra as her arms moved upward.  The large double D's came abounding out of the cups as they were met with the stale air inside the holding room of Baytown PD. 

"See officer, there ain't no drugs in my bra either."

"Yes ma'am, I see that."

Perk of the job? According to CA Cop there was nothing "perky" about it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Paranoia Two

The hyper awareness of criminals in the world continues to be present in our daily lives.
Exhibit A) This week I received lectures on three separate evenings (that I was home alone with the kids) for not having turned on the porch light immediately following sun down. I was reminded yet again that the bad guys "like dark places."

Exhibit B) The past few days CA Cop has entered a room and I literally jumped and screamed. I think I get used to it just being me and the kids home, and so it throws me for a loop to have a man wandering from room to room.

Exhibit C) I ran into the bank today to get some quick cash for an event we were taking the kids to.  As I walked out of the bank and entered the car I handed CA Cop the cash.  My "interesting" story I began to tell him was interrupted by him informing me that walking out of the bank with the cash on display in my hand was not a good idea. I was just asking for trouble. I know....I get it. Not something I typically do.

And Exhibit D) When discussing my plans to visit a good friend in San Francisco a few weekends ago I brought up the topic of transportation.

"Perhaps I will just take BART to the city?"

"No way.  Its not a good idea for you to be taking BART, especially at night."

I give up.... our life is changed. Mostly for the better. But still, its change and change takes some adjusting.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Until I Really Knew A Cop

There are a few things that I have learned since I have had the opportunity to get close to an officer.

1.) Being searched and handcuffed is very uncomfortable and very intrusive. Even when its your cadet husband practicing for his academy scenarios and you are dressed in your PJ's in the middle of your living room.  It still feels violating and I cannot imagine going through it "for real".

2.) Routine traffic stops are dangerous. And the cop is calculating your every move as he/she approaches your vehicle. Keep your hands on your wheel.

3.) While "quotas" may not exist (at least not in Baytown) every ticket written equals a potential 4+ hours of overtime for the officer........

4.) All cops are "jerks" unless you need them to come protect you, then magically they are "actually not that bad" or "actually a nice cop".

5.) Officers are not interested in hearing your "jerk" cop stories. Ever. (And their wives are even more annoyed by them.)

So this is the start of my list. It has been interesting being introduced to the LEO life.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Overtime

In the last two weeks CA Cop has worked 50+ hours of overtime. That is in addition to his regular full time shift.

I. Miss. Him. Terribly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still Having Blogger Problems

Blogger is still having issues with comments on my blog.  Hopefully it will be resolved soon.  I have made several attempts to reply to comments, but have been unsuccessful.
If you have something you wanted to add to a recent post I do hope that you are able to post the comment soon. I appreciate all the great feedback that I get from my readers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Look

"The smile on your face lets me know that you need me.
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never me.
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me 'ever I fall.
You say it best, when you say nothing at all."

Okay, so maybe the song doesn't apply entirely, but at least you know I'm trying.

I have noticed a common thread in certain situations that CA Cop tells me about.  Whenever he is about to go hands on with an uncooperative individual, the moment prior to that contact being made always seems to be the same.....a look between his partner or backup and then hands on.

It fascinates me. It's always just a look, and then they move in on the subject. Working like a machine, they each work a different angle of the suspect in order to apprehend him as quickly and safely as possible.  No words are spoken, just a look followed by decisive action.

I don't know if it is just something that happens naturally between all cops?  I wonder if a sheriff or even if a CHP, whom he doesn't typically have a relationship with, was backing him up on a stop would it simply be a look at each other and a thousand words are exchanged on how to best deal with the unruly individual? In other words, is it a "universal look" or is it something that he shares with the officers who he knows and who know him?

I'm impressed at the training and the robotics of it all, yet still know that there are hundreds of unspoken thoughts and emotions swirling around in that split second that the action is taken.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Enlighten Me.......Sleeping Aids

Sleeping during the day is hard. 

Combine that with the fact that CA Cop sleeps half the week during the day and then switches to sleeping at night the other half so that he can see his babies.

That is a rough schedule. Now when you also add court into the mix often times during the middle of a day when he should be sleeping you end up with one tired man.

So I ask the following question:  Do you have any tried and true methods to make the sleep happen, last, and feel restful? Have you (officers) or does your cop (family members) use any sleeping aids? Be it a pill, a beverage, a music mix, birds tweeting, ocean sounds? What is your process (or your cop's process) for winding down and staying down for the maximum amount of time?  Have you ruled out sleeping pills? Why or why not? 

I will comment later on our current process, but for now I really want to here any tips!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cop Wife Moment

"For the first time on the job, I was scared.

I was faced with a situation where my instincts were to turn and run.

But instead I walked toward the danger, gun drawn, not knowing what was going to happen."



He told me this not immediately after it happened, not the next time we talked, or even the next two times after that.  He told me when he was ready to tell me.

As he spoke these words and the details of the events that had transpired I felt my heart rate spike.  The bridge of my nose grew damp with gently falling tears. And my breathing changed rythm. But I kept strength in my voice as we spoke over the phone.

When I typically hear stories of his job, I don't hear his emotion.  I only hear about his actions. I either have to decipher his emotion based on the way he is telling me the story or assume that he is super cop and is just rarely affected by what he sees, hears, and endures. 



Having him spell it out to me the other night was almost haunting.



I told him that I was proud of him that in a split second he was able to acknowledge his feeling: fear, acknowledge his human instincts: leave danger, and yet allow his police training and duty to guide him through the needed actions.



Then I hung up the phone and sobbed out loud into my pillow. Because, for selfish reasons, I want him to run away...


But I married a warrior so I must be strong like he is.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Concern

I have noticed that as the months go by, the less I hear about CA Cop's job.  The day to day cop routine has become just that...day to day routine.  I only hear of the stories that impact him in some way.  Whether it be humor, shock, frustration, sadness, anger, joy.  As we sat at the kitchen table several weeks ago one story came pouring out of him.  In short sentences at first, I don't think he was planning on going into detail, but the words continued to flow so he went with it.  The way he was telling me was different than he typically talked about work.  And after a few seconds I began to see what was different. He was concerned, so I listened even more intently trying to share in his emotion.  Of course situations at work have previously concerned him. But this was different, he was worried almost. He had a domestic case that had been weighing on the back of his mind for some time. 
It started out as a routine call (I'm learning that is how they all start). She has a restraining order on him, they are getting a divorce, she's pregnant with his kid, and on it goes right?

Right. But CA Cop had an eerie feeling about this situation.  It was a feeling he could not ignore and one that was ever so subtly nagging at him.

The conversations CA Cop had with the husband took on an unfamiliar emotion.  There was undeniable desperation in the man's voice, undertones of a grim future. The restraining order violations seemed to be escalating, stalking, property damage, phone calls. CA Cop told me that he warned the female about what his instincts were telling him.
So he got to work.  He drove by her residence on his shifts to try and catch the husband's vehicle in the vicinity.  He literally took out a tape measure to mark to the very inch whether or not the restraining order had been violated from where he saw said vehicle. And then he wrote every report he could possibly write on every action he could prove was done by the husband.

He came downstairs the other day and announced to me that the husband was picked up on a couple of no bail warrants due to the reports written by CA Cop which put the husband in violation of his probation.

I saw the relief in his face and watched the concern in his brow neutralize.

I am grateful that he not only listens to those "feelings" but also acts on them. I hope he never loses that.

At least one person in Baytown will sleep more peacefully tonight. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Replaced...Almost

We were driving in the car the other day. We were in a sketchy area of town. The conversation was casual and the kids were singing out loud to the songs playing from CA Cop's iPod. It was so cute to hear Shasta try his best to form the words quickly enough to keep up with the songs.  Wanting to share in the moment of sheer parental joy I reached out for CA Cop's hand.  When I sensed some hesitation in his response I looked down at his hand.  It was resting on his pistol. He literally looked down at the gun, back at my hand, then back at the gun as he watched himself release it. The gun remained on his thigh and he gently took my hand.

No words were exchanged. I looked up at his handsome features.

Thats right, sweetheart, just relax and hold my hand.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Displaced Fear

CA Cop was completing the traffic stop. The left headlight was out and had prompted the stop on a late weekend night.

The driver checked out clean and CA Cop was just giving her a verbal warning to get the light fixed. The small child in the back seat was fussing and CA Cop tried to offer the little girl some soothing words.

The "mother" responded to his effort by explaining, "She don't like the Po-lice. She afraid of tha Po-lice."

"Why is that?" He was setting her up for it, I know.

"Her daddy and I have some do-mestic issues and the Po-lice have to come."

"Oh yeah? Like what kind?"

"Well, her daddy was choking me and I had to call ya'll."

Wait for it.......

"Sounds like she should be afraid of her daddy."

He doesn't know if he should have gone there, but he did. She was speechless. The stop ended there and the woman drove away quietly. CA Cop's partner laughed his way back to the patrol car.  I guess he was also a bit surprised at the bluntness.

I think it was right on point. Probably something the young "mother" should hear more often.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Problem Solving

The other night CA Cop and I did a vehicle swap that resulted in him forgetting his house keys.

I. Lock. Up. Every doorknob, every deadbolt, every latch, and I top it off with the motion detector on our alarm set and active.  This eventually lead to CA Cop staring up at his house at 3:00 AM while his family was locked tightly inside engulfed in peaceful slumber.

This was his process: He texted. He called. My vibrating phone didn't have the ability to wake me up after what seemed like a week of sleepless nights. I was finally in dreamland. Then I heard it, the tapping at my window. My second story window, mind you. Over and over. I jolted out of bed and tried to figure out where the sound was coming from and how. It was clear that it was an intentional disturbance.  I instinctively reached for my phone and saw the two text notifications and a missed call.  Even in my delirium the puzzle pieces came together quite rapidly.  I called my stranded prince and ran downstairs to unlock the castle doors. He met me at the door with a closed lip grin and I planted a kiss on his cheek.

He told me that when he got into the backyard below our windows he looked around at our landscaping rocks then up at the target window.  He just didn't feel that hurling the solid rock at our unsuspecting window would result in the outcome he was hoping for.  He remembered that he had a bag of almonds he was snacking on in the car.  The almonds became his ammunition of choice as they were fired up at the double pane glass.  They made the perfect amount of noise without risking the integrity of the window.

Its not every night one gets the luxury of waking up to flying almonds.....At least he's a problem solver, right?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Enlighten Me.....Talking to the Kids

This is a word for word quote from 3 year old Sierra's bedtime prayer the other night,

 "Heavenly Father bless our sweet, sweet man gets the job done getting bad guys in jail."

Surely, CA Cop was blessed that night.  I mean how could anyone not answer that little prayer?

As our baby girl grows so does her desire to learn about the world that she's living in.  She is one of those fifty questions in a minute type of children who doesn't take "I don't know" as an answer for anything. She hasn't quite gotten the concept that moms and dads may not know everything, but I'm sure just about the point she turns into a teenager she'll have that one mastered!

Today in the car she asked me what skunks eat....random, I know. Umm...I paused to think about a little skunk and what might fill its fuzzy black and white belly.  She interrupted my thoughts with, "trees?".  I knew I wasn't getting out of this one so I did a quick google search at a red light and rattled off a long list of nasty things like insects, frogs, earthworms, and also (much to her enjoyment) leaves.

CA Cop's job has been surfacing in her conversation more and more.  Specifically about "bad guys" and "taking pictures of them" (no idea how she picked up on this? Next to dad when he checked his work email?) and "putting them in jail."  Also driving by the rules or else "crashing and getting big tickets that cost lots of money".

So all these different topics that are requiring me to give more and more detail have made me wonder and seek some enlightenment.....Do you have any dos or don'ts when it comes to talking about what your cop (or you if you are the cop) does at work?  So far we keep a positive worry free spin on everything (Daddy helps people, etc) they are young.  I want my babies to feel as safe and secure in their little world as they possibly can and for as long as they can.  But I also know that in the future the questions will come, so I want to be prepared.  Have you set any boundaries or do you just answer all questions honestly and openly? As they grow and begin to understand what, if anything, have you encountered in relation to being a LEO family?

Thanks for the input, these Enlighten Me posts have really been so....um...enlightening!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gear II

He sat at the kitchen table. Punching numbers into the calculator. The receipts in little organized piles all around him. A Diet Dr. Pepper completed the scene.  The kids were running around the house. I was cleaning up around them. Putting laundry away, Shasta ran a Tonka police truck up and down my back and onto the top of my head.  The siren was very loud when it went off direcly on top of my ear.  Occasionally I would make my way into the kitchen and glance at the calculator, curious to see where the total was at. And he sat. And did the math. And the minutes passed. Probably a good 30 of them.

And finally the conclusion was reached.  The last receipt took its place on what had now become a three foot stack on the kitchen table.  $6500 and some change (only one gun included in that total, the rest being all things "gear").  Thats right, folks.  The gear total for 2010 is in. A little over 10 months on the job in 2010.  I passed the numbers on to our accountant for a healthy little write off.

I am happy to report that while 2011 started off with a "bang", if you get my drift, the gear purchases have slowed significantly.  I am certain there is some UPS man out there no longer employed by this turn of events, and while I wish him well, I am grateful that he is not longer a permanent fixture on my front stoop.
So, for many reasons, I am glad that year one is behind us!  And here's to a big tax refund!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Struggle

CA Cop was on the ground.  His commands no longer effective. They had found his weak spot, almost seemed to know what buttons to push and how to test him. It was two on one. The two individuals had energy and stamina that was completely unmatched by the efforts of CA Cop. He was growing weary as he scrambled to hold onto a leg, an arm, any limb he could come in contact with as they flailed around him.  The female began her taunts, now completely aware that she was about to get her way and break free from the officer.  She yelled NO repeatedly as she tugged and pulled.  The male made connection, a flat fist to the shoulder of CA Cop, he laughed out loud seeming to enjoy the struggle.  Athough tired CA Cop was unfazed by the blow and continued his efforts. 

But finally the struggle was growing to be too much.  He knew it was a battle that he was not going to be able to handle on his own and as of yet he still did not hear his back up coming to his aid.

With desperation clearly audible in his voice he called out one more time for help.....

I heard the sounds.....I made my way upstairs to relieve the weary officer.  The kids were each half clothed in their jammies and CA Cop looked at me with tired eyes as he held out to me one princess top and a Buzz Lightyear bottom.  The kids were no match for the shift work ridden daddy as he attempted to get them ready for bed to help his busy wife.  I kissed him on the forehead and expressed my gratitude for his well intended attempts and commented that it certainly is a good thing that felons are not ages 2 and 3.

Lord knows they do not "comply".......

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vibrating Phone

So the other night CA Cop was out slaying dragons.  I was home watching TV and eating Girl Scout Cookies after having completed my frozen Smart Ones dinner (ironic, I know). I laughed to myself that while most were enjoying an eventful Saturday night I was flopping around the quiet house in slippers and spandex.  But "his weekend" would come soon enough.  We've really gotten into the routine of his current schedule just in time for it to be changing in a couple of weeks.

The clocked ticked away until it was way past my self inflicted bed time and yet I was still up.  CA Cop called me every couple hours, a welcomed treat. He wasn't too busy and felt the need to connect with the home base and, let me say it was well received, I missed him too.

"Call me before you go to bed."

It was not a typical request from my on duty officer, but I gladly agreed.

As I felt the remote slip out of my hand and realized that I had no idea what dress the last two girls on Say Yes to the Dress had chosen, I knew I better call it a night.

I called my sweetheart and as is typical, was greeted by his voicemail after about 6 rings.

Some time later, I was still up, and he was calling.

"I was clearing a house when you called, we were called to a home invasion in progress.  My gun was drawn and then my front pocket started vibrating."

"That doesn't sound very good. How distracting was that?"

So....I think I will just stick to the typical plan.  He calls me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garbage Day

The smell from the back of his patrol car had CA Cop's eyes watering.  He had his window rolled down all the way and leaned his body to the left to allow the wind to blow against his face and up through his nostrils. 

The sun was out in Baytown. Clouds dotted the blue sky and the view was picturesque. CA Cop peered through his dark sun glasses as he drove and tried to focus amidst the distraction behind him.

The man in the back seat shook as he sat. The dry spell of a few hours had the alcoholic's body in a mild fit. His dark jeans had a large hole on the left knee and greasy goo on the upper thigh. The dirt that caked the material left some question as to whether or not the material was even jean.

As CA Cop pulled into the BART station he stopped in the unloading zone.  A BART Officer stood next to his car and watched the scene unfold. CA Cop unloaded the man and handed him a five dollar bill from his own pocket.  He offered the man some words of encouragement and then pointing toward the ticket dispensers, gave him directions and sent him on his way. Away from Baytown. The BART Officer approached CA Cop knowing exactly what had just occurred.

"Taking out the trash?" He asked.

"Yep." CA Cop smiled as he lowered his body back into his car.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wash Day

I began my usual routine of checking all the pockets, and then rechecking them again. I made the mistake only once of not checking the pockets.  That was when CA Cop was in the academy and the lint that resulted from the index card that went through the washing machine had the cadet in a frenzy as to what his punishment might be if every last microscopic piece of lint was not removed from the uniform. So I check the pockets now. Every time.

I handled the uniform this time with extra care. Holding it with as little part of my hand and fingers as possible. My mind started thinking about the "individuals" that he comes in contact with and I quick rinsed my hands off in the water pouring into the washing machine. I flipped the shirt inside out, zipped it up, and secured the top button, just as I have been "instructed" to do. Tossed it into the foamy waters that smelled delightful and grabbed the pants.  As my gaze followed the pants into the suds I thought about my washing machine. There was blood on that uniform. Blood that would now be swirled around my washing machine. My washing machine that washes my baby's clothes, my clothes.

"How much blood is on this thing?" I shouted at the off duty cop reclining in our family room. He could hear the bit of repulsion in my voice, knew that his germ-a-phobic wife was getting grossed out.

He assured me that he was "pretty sure" that blood was "probably just" his partners'.

I shut the washing machine and ran to the bathroom to scrub my compromised hands. 

So washing the uniform at home is a new "luxury" for us.  The old uniforms were dry clean only so I never thought about blood and other ickies that could be lurking about on the fabric that he adorns each shift. But now I think about it.

Perhaps I should try not to.....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Enlighten Me.......Observations

Driving down the freeway, kids in tow. We had a picnic lunch in the trunk and our hiking backpacks loaded with water bottles.  The thermostat read 80+ degrees and the kids cheeks were already slightly pink from being outdoors the day before. 

The new bottle of sunscreen rolled around my feet and I looked forward to kissing their foreheads and smelling the aroma brought on by that protective layer of lotion.

We cruised down the freeway with CA Cop's preselected tunes serenading us. Shasta's eyes were already growing heavy as he snuggled in his car seat, his head turned the direction of the window. Despite the sleep beginning to overtake him a small smile would creep the sides of his lips upward with every garbage truck that we passed. He loves them, dearly.  Sierra flipped the pages of a book and read to her stuffed animals to keep them entertained on the drive.

With near silence from the back seat, a rarity, CA Cop and I began discussing various topics. I was asking him questions about police work. Specifically how he communicates with dispatch during a traffic stop and what kind of information he knows, if any, prior to approaching a vehicle.

As he answered my questions and our conversation continued he would point out various cars ahead of us on the freeway.  He would state different facts about the vehicles and their drivers.

I sat in silence.  I didn't know what to say. I realized at that moment he knew exactly who was driving every car that had passed us and probably some behind us as well.  He had just rattled off, in casual conversation, the ethnicity, gender, and approximate age of all the drivers of the vehicles within eyesight along with the makes and models of the cars they were driving. Now, make and possibly models I could have pointed out, but descriptions of the drivers.......I guess I was too busy waving to the garbage trucks. It was fascinating to me to see how and what that brain of his is now storing and compartmentalizing.

So am I right to conclude that they never really turn "it" off? Even on their days off? They are still scanning for the bad guys? Sometimes I watch CA Cop look into vehicles as we pass by them and I can just see him salivating, thinking about how he would like to get into that car.

I don't know?  Enlighten me.... Is this a rookie thing? Or is the level of alertness just something that develops into a character trait?


                                 














 (PS. Could the views from our hike have been any better?)

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Cop Wife and Her Phone

When CA Cop is working.....

My phone is always charged.

It is always in the same room that I'm in.  If the pants I'm wearing don't have a back pocket, my phone is in my hand.

I feel anxiety if I leave my phone.....even if it is just down the stairs.

If my phone must be put on silent, I check it every five minutes.

If I'm talking to you on the phone and he calls, sorry, but I will do my best to end our call. I just don't know when I will hear from him again.........Or what he might need to say.......

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Disappointment

He swung his legs back and forth as they dangled off the bench in the waiting area of Baytown PD.  His white shoes were more of a brown-grey and one of the Velcro latches on his left foot was unlatched and had a build up of blue fuzz.  The woman sat next to the boy, he was barely out of toddlerhood.  She didn't say much to him, just occasionally told him to stop kicking his legs when his feet would make contact with the foot of the bench and make a loud noise.

They sat.

And waited.

The minutes on the clock changed and before long the hours began to tick away as well.

They sat.

And waited.

CA Cop would look out at the boy when he came back from a call to see if he was still there. The admin staff offered the pair water, but they declined. 

Finally the woman had enough. She gathered up her purse and a bag of the boys belongings and told him they were through waiting and it was time to head home. 

Baytown PD is where her and the child's father have made arrangements to handle their visitation pick ups and drop offs. Their separation was far less than amicable and only a strong police presence could ensure that the two would act civilly at their brief meetings to hand over the child.

As the boy slid off the bench he let out a disappointed sigh.  His dad had failed to show. Again. The child's head sunk into his shoulders and he kicked the ground with the front of his shoe.

"Aw man....I thought I was gonna get to see my dad today...."

The shiny police badge stickers and bright Baytown PD pencils were no consolation for the boys wish to simply see his "father".

CA Cop was silent as he watched them exit the doors of the department, the boys words ringing in his head.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Flitz

I sat on the couch next to him. Busy polishing the brass. I would put the polish on and watch it fog up and then buff it back to a shine. I repeated the process several times.  Paying careful attention to each ridge and bump of the badge.  Studying it like I never had before. I could start to see my reflection, though distorted, in the grooves of the badge. As I worked with the provided polishing tools, I thought of her. I wondered if she was holding his badge. Or polishing it. I assume they gave it to her. As CA Cop prepped his Class A uniform, polished his boots, and put the black band on his badge, I thought about her.  She would never again see him standing tall and proud with the gun on his hip and badge on his chest. I don't know her.  But I am connected to her.  And I feel for her, though I cannot imagine how she feels.

CA Cop does not personally know the man who will no longer strap on his vest, sharpen his knife, and reload his gun, but he is connected to him.  Attending this service is something that he needs to do. It will be the first one, since he took the oath, that he will be present at. I know it is something that he needs to see. And he needs to feel. To see her, broken yet surviving, to see the children hurt yet still determined, and to see the brotherhood surrounding them. From agencies all over the country. He needs to join together to encircle the family as any extended family member would. 

So I polish the brass to show my respect too. His uniform will be neatly pressed and in order.  He will join his brothers and sisters in blue and share in the memory of man who served and protected at all costs and ultimately proved just that.

I hand CA Cop the badge for his inspection. I ask who would notify me. He doesn't know. He hands me back the badge and I continue my work. He returns to the couch and informs me that he just updated my phone number and our address with Baytown PD. We speak quietly and again my thoughts are turned to her.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How To Sleep With A Cop

So how many badge bunnies will now be drawn to my site when they type that into the google search engine?

So here's the routine. For the future cop wives or the cadet wives this is what I have learned about sleeping with a cop (and I do mean the literal form of the word sleeping, all you dirty minds out there).

This scenario applies 100% of the time when the cop is on graves and about 80% when they are working swings.

So the work week is through. Your cop finally has some time off. And for you, after some sleepless nights of worrying about him or sleepless nights because its just not the same having your bed empty you are looking forward to some synchronized rest next to your main man.

You have dinner together, give your cop the run down on all the happenings that he missed during his long shifts.  He fills you in on his week and you watch a little TV together.  For us, its Survivor. I don't watch it until his day off. 

You both climb into bed, turn down the lights perhaps the TV glows with the sound down low. You toss, he turns. You doze, he doesn't. You wake to the sound of sirens, its just the new episode of The First 48, the volume not so low anymore.  You look at the clock, its midnight.  You turn, he tosses. You doze.  You wake, he's eating a bowl of cereal, afterall its lunch time for him.  You look at the clock, its 1:30am. You roll over, You doze. You wake, your bed is empty.  You catch a glimpse of him as he leaves the room.  You look at the clock, its 3:00am. You doze. You toss and turn in your empty bed as the sun begins to break through the corners of your darkening shades.

Without fail, this how I sleep with my cop.  And yet I still feel disappointed when I wake only to watch him leave the room in the wee hours of the morning.  I don't know why.  I can't imagine being in his shoes and switching my sleeping schedule every few days.

So, to my cop I say this, I look forward to "sleeping" with you honey, even if it doesn't last all night.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Enlighten Me.... Wife Alongs

So let me know your opinion.  Where do you stand? How do you feel?  Do you think that an officer's spouse or significant other should go on a ride along? If yes, how often?

Do you think its a distraction for the officer or do you think its a great way to spend quality time with your significant other? Have you gone and had any experiences good/bad?

Does your department have any policy or opinions on it?

Officers, do you look forward to and plan for ride alongs with your significant other? Or do you avoid it all costs?

I'm going to wait to share my opinion on this one.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another Ticket

It was a slow night for Bay Town.

The tail light was out so he figured why not and flipped on the red and blue lights.

He noticed a head bobbing around in the back seat as the car begin to slow and pull to the right. The little face turned to look at the flashing lights as the little girl gripped the headrest of the back seat.  She squinted as they shone in her eyes.

CA Cop approached the vehicle as he felt his face start to get hot at the sight of the toddler standing up in the backseat looking up at him.  She had bare feet and a dirty face but her big eyes, and enormous smile helped him keep his cool as he began his conversation with the "mother".

She was quick to inform him that she did in fact have a car seat, it was just in the trunk.

He jotted out the necessary information on the citation which would carry at least a $400 fine. He pressed hard as he wrote, the frustration brewing at the disregard for the child's safety as this woman was heading clear across Baytown and well into the next city over all the while the child's safety seat lay in the trunk. 

As he handed her the cite she commented, "I guess, I better get the car seat out of the trunk, I don't want another police officer to pull me over and give me a ticket."

That was the final straw.  He let it fly, "How about you get the car seat out of the trunk to protect your child from flying through the windshield and cracking her skull on the pavement." There may have been a few additional descriptive words inserted in the statement.

He called me shortly after and informed me of his desire to "punch the woman in the face."

I'm glad you restrained yourself honey, although I think she needed a little sense knocked into her.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Year One

Now that CA Cop has worn the badge for a year I thought I'd post on how he's changed and how I've changed directly related to that shiny piece of metal.

Me:

More independent- Being a cop's wife has made me step up and do things on my own that I may have otherwise not bothered doing.  The kids and I have gone on beach trips, zoo trips, and family parties without our main man.  I've flown solo to weddings, dinners, and get toghethers.  If you want to survive shift work, you have to be able to live a little while he sleeps a little.

Less Social- At the same time that I am willing to do a lot more on my own, there is a lot less to do or that I can do with sleeping kids at home and CA Cop out working.  Also, there are some things that you just need to do as a couple. CA Cop's schedule seems to be opposite the 9-5ers and so we end up missing a lot of dinner dates with friends, hosting other couples, and being invited to do much of anything with anyone as a couple.

More of a caretaker-  With CA Cop sleeping and waking at all different hours it has changed my role in the house a bit.  I feel like it is my job to make sure he gets as much sleep as possible and I feel like I failed when he's up early.  Plus you never know what a cop is going to want to eat and at what time. I'm always worried about his driving late at night and whether or not he has rested enough.

I'm not really sure how else I have changed. Overall, I like our life in connection with all things blue. I appreciate what he does.  I don't feel like his job comes first. I feel like as much as he loves his job, he still loves his family more. My goal is to maintain that.

CA Cop

More Tired-  CA Cop has always been one of those guys that requires his 8+ hours.  Now he seldom gets that and so he always seems to be dragging a bit. Shift work is tough in the sleep department especially when every 3 days or so he switches back and forth from days with the family to nights at work.

In Charge- CA Cop seems a little more prone to ordering rather than asking. I think he's just used to telling someone to do what he needs them to do.  Sometimes the lines get blurred at home.

More Concerned- He is far more concerned with where I'm going and when I'll be home than he used to be (not that I do much).  Occasionally, he even has an opinion on my plans as far as whether or not he wants me to go.

Road Rage- He is FAR less patient when we are driving around.  I think it has something to do with while at work he usually has somewhere to be quickly and every one slows down when they see a cop. I might start requiring the kids to wear ear plugs when we are in the car with daddy.

Less Social-  His schedule just really doesn't coincide with most of our friends and family.  Although he doesn't really seem to hang out with many other cops they are the ones he is communicating with the most either on the phone or texting.

Family Time-  He's all about it. I know it has a lot to do with not seeing his babies for a handful of days at a time. But he seems to soak up the time he has with the little ones and even his wifey. We have a weekly date night now and we both really look forward it.  I think we are less social as far as having many friends that we get together with, but we are closer as a family and as a couple because we always hang out together on his days off. Not too many people are home from work on a Tuesday so that just leaves us to entertain each other and have conversations together.

More Organized-  This has always been in his nature, but since the academy I've really noticed it again.  Every thing must have its place and there is a place for everything.

Overall Happier- He likes doing what he does. He likes being a cop. He wants to be out there chasing down the bad guys.

Less Stressed- As a contractor and a landlord it was easy to see that he stressed about what he was doing. He always worried about making every project perfect.  As a cop, yes there is a lot of stress that comes with the job, but he seems to carry it differently. He is not visibly worried about his decisions each day.  I think he trusts his judgement out on the streets more than in any other jobs.

Overall CA Cop seems to have adjusted well over the past year. The biggest adjustment has definitely been learning how to function around shift work.  Being that he was self employed for the last few years prior to becoming a cop we had a little more freedom in the schedule area.  So we are learning the pros and cons of each shift, and trying to focus on the pros.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Integrity

So, CA Cop towed a "lady's" (I really should be more selective in using that term) vehicle recently.  It was pretty uneventful, just the standard suspended license then tow the car sort of situation.

 He made his way back to the station later on that day.  He was greeted with the news that said "lady" had phoned in to complain about the way that CA Cop had spoken to her at the scene. Angry at some very specific remarks he made she let Sarge know that she was not pleased with CA Cop's handling of the situation.....

.....Only problem was that Sarge had been on that very scene with CA Cop.  He had heard every word and observed every action. He also did not hear the quote she stated or the actions she claimed she was subject to. Because they didn't happen.

This was not the first time CA Cop has had a citizen lie to a superior about his conduct, but I just found this situation especially amusing and especially irritating all at the same time!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Enlighten Me......Watch Your Back

So when CA Cop was still in the academy and friends were learning of his new career path, we would get bombarded with both questions and advice.  I remember when one lady in particular was sharing stories of officers she knew.  As we were parting ways she left CA Cop with some words of wisdom.

"Watch your back," she said.

No kidding, I thought.

"No really, watch your back.  Officers end up with back injuries pretty frequently."

CA Cop has weighed himself in the department locker room with and without his gear on.  His "stuff" weighs 30+ pounds.  And its all hanging on his lower back and shoulders, add to that the amount of driving and its the perfect combination for a back ache.

And ache it does. He comes home from his 12+ hour shifts with lower back pain almost every day.  I try to offer massages to help bring some relief, but ultimately I know we need to figure out some way to fix this irritation before it becomes a  problem.

So enlighten me on back troubles and all that goes along with it.  Does your cop visit the chiropractor? Do you believe in chiropractics? Have you found any tricks to taking care of your back? What do you as a wife do to help your cop's aches and pains?

I'm really looking for some answers here.  CA Cop did visit a chiropractor, but we never really pursued the several thousand dollar treatment plan that he laid out for us. That being said, if it will ultimately save his back, we'll do it!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hot Pursuit

With CA Cops blessing (you'll see why) I give you the details of his first foot pursuit.....

The sun beat down on his left arm as he cruised around looking for someone to pull over.  It was his first day on the day shift after coming off of FTO. He was looking to please and impress his new Sgt, who fellow officers had some pretty strong opinions about.  They wished him well when they learned that CA Cop would be on Sarge's team
"That's the one he thought." He flipped on the lights and sped up to catch the vehicle with no rear license plate. The car did not pull over immediately, but seemed to have a change of heart and made a sharp right into a large store parking lot. CA Cop followed suit and parked his police cruiser behind the beat up vehicle.

The car held two black males and a female driver.  CA Cop discovered that the two males both had warrants for violent crimes and weapons charges.  Sarge and another officer showed up at the scene to assist CA Cop as he took the first male into custody and placed him in the back of his patrol car.

Warrant #2 started looking around and then took off running.  CA Cop took off after him.  This was the moment he had been anticipating.  He had seen it play out so many times on shows like "Cops".  Come what may a fence, a gate, a wall, whatever was in his path CA Cop was determined to conquer all to catch this guy.  CA Cop, a former baseball player, is pretty speedy.  Sprinting is not something that is foreign to him.  His sense of sound grew muffled as the wind whipped around him,. He pushed hard to stretch his legs as far as they would reach with each stride.  His arms were tense and flexed and the pumped back and forth at his sides.  He was actually gaining on the guy! And gaining quickly......

Then it happened.......His radio fell from his side. Connected by wires to his chest and ear it began dragging behind him.  It made loud clanking noises as it bounced and scraped against the pavement with every stride.  CA Cop turned his torso and reached for the wires and pulled his radio up from the ground.  Got it.  He turned his head back in the direction he was running just in time to see the parking block directly in front of him.  He already had his leg in motion as his foot approached the top of the parking block.  The toe of his boot caught it.  And. Down. He. Went. Hard. On the pavement. In the middle of the parking lot.  On a busy day in Baytown. 

Sarge pulled up in his car.  Helped CA Cop up and patted him on the back.

Bruised ego and scraped up arms and knee, CA Cop headed back to his traffic stop to finish what he had started.

When he got back to the station he discovered that word had traveled quickly.  The rookie was greeted with jabs, nicknames, and the like.  But later on one by one the other officers took the time to confess to CA Cop their own experiences with "The Falling Radio" and the twists and tangles they had ended up in as a result. 

Apparently running with a radio and duty belt has a learning curve.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Newsworthy

The other day I heard from CA Cop that there was a happening in Bay Town.  So what do I do? Set the evening news to record, of course.  Not because I care to hear all the details rehashed, but rather because it is fun to try to catch a glimpse of CA Cop on the nightly news.  The kids think its great when they see him.

So as I waited patiently for the clock to strike 10pm so that the news would finally begin, I had to laugh to myself and at myself. I strained my eyes as I scanned over each uniform looking for one moving around with that particular swagger that only CA Cop has. I rewinded a few times and deleted the recording. Not tonight. My movie star avoided the paparazzi.

So, does anyone else do this?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reflections

Last month CA Cop and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. This month we'll mark the completion of his first year on the job.  Thus, the "reflecting".  As we sat next to each other at one of those restaurants where they cook the food in front of you and make the onion into a smoking volcano we talked about our last 7 years. The homes we've had, the places we've lived, the vacations we've taken, the births of our children.  All the milestones that we've seen come and go.  We talked about what we want out of the next 7 years. Where we want life to take us and what we'd like to experience on that journey. If any more little ones will be planned.

Now I know that 7 years is still just the very beginning, but I really feel that we have learned exactly how we function best as a family.  I have so much joy in my life completely centered around him and our children.  I feel like we are a really good team. Like any team, albeit baseball or soccer, there are certain positions that must be filled in order for the team to play successfully. Two people couldn't play pitcher at the same time because that would leave a space in the outfield vulnerable. That is kinda how our family works. We have positions. And when we are fulfilling our designated position our household just seems to run so smoothly. Especially with the crazy schedule and random overtime it has been really important that we work as a team. We know that we can count on each other.

 CA Cop has proven to me that with him at the reigns our family will always be taken care of. Always, he will do what it takes. CA Cop, because of you I want for nothing.

I know this is a touchy feely post. But I just wanted to have these thoughts to reflect on in the future.

I am so grateful that 7 years ago we made a commitment to each other. Truly, CA Cop, with you, eternity is not long enough.

I love you, baby.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Squash the Litterbug

CA Cop asked her to step out of her vehicle. The unlicensed driver laid on the attitude real thick as she let him know he was racist for pulling her over for a broken tail light. She was more manly than CA Cop and her biceps were measurably larger.

As he searched the vehicle  he found a pill bottle with some weed stuffed inside.  Now this is California folks, and weed out here "ain't no thang". He handed her the bottle and told her she needed to dump the weed and stamp it out.

Well she did. And then she threw the bottle. Her arm was decent so the bottle flew with speed down the grass embankment leading up to the freeway on ramp that they were standing on.

CA Cop smiled as he gave her a couple options:

A.) She could take a merry little hike down the embankment and locate the pill bottle or
B.) She could enjoy paying her few hundred dollar littering fine after he wrote her a citation.

He leaned, casually against his patrol car as she searched through the grass for the bottle. The bottoms of her shoes caked with mud as she waded through the marsh-like area, trying to avoid the puddles, and trying to keep the mud from suctioning her shoes off.

People tossing garbage out their car window or on the ground is something CA Cop has little tolerance for. I despise it as well.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

While You Were Freezing....

CA Cop and I have been very busy on his days off this week. Yard work. And lots of it. Adorned in T shirts, shorts, and gloves we took to the jungle. We've lived in our home for less than a year and this was the first time we've had to really start making some progress on the vision we have for our yard. I love being outdoors and miss the days when we had acreage to tend to. Shasta was in heaven the whole time, "helping" in any way his little two year old arms and legs would allow him.

We have an abundance of snow shovels. As I looked at our supply leaning up against the house, I thought to myself, "That's not something you see in CA everyday." You see, the last winter that we lived out of state was a doozy. I'm talking 8 feet of snow in a 30 day period. And you couldn't find a snow shovel within a 100 mile radius. Every store was sold out. EVERY STORE. So there I was, 3 weeks post partum, shoveling my driveway with a broken shovel so that I could get my 18 month old and my newborn to their Dr's appointments while CA Cop was off working. Six snow shovels later and a snow blower he saw to it that I never had that problem again.

So now that we've moved to a non-snowy area we have this ample supply. They sit in our yard bleaching in the California sun. We have actually found that these are very useful tools. Let me demonstrate:

-They work great as a dust pan.
-Shoveling leaves into a bag was never easier or quicker.
-Shoveling unwanted rocks
-Scraping mud off walkways
-Scooping a pile of freshly picked weeds

In conclusion, I'd like to recommend that every fair weather state stock some snow shovels at their local Home Depot.

I guess we'll have to brace for some more 70 degree weather heading our way. Looking out my window at the blue sky and green grass in January I can't help but smile. If you can just imagine away the bad politics, horrendous taxes, encroachments on freedoms, high crime, terrible traffic, and pitiful schools CA really is not all that bad. I'll wear the "CA Girl" stamp with pride in the meantime....

Bundle up out there!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Have Mercy......Please

CA Cop and I were getting ready to go out on the town, just the two of us. Shasta and Sierra were carted off to my brother's house to enjoy some time playing with their beloved cousins.

As I was switching purses...you know, to match my outfit, and to unload diapers, wipies, fruit snacks, and loose cheerios that wouldn't be required, I turned to CA Cop.

"Hey hon, is there any reason why I would need to bring my wallet?" Apparently this was a question that I have asked a time or two during similar situations. His response:

"You should always have your ID with you, I'm not going to tell you again."

I choked back the laughter and gave him a serious nod. Perhaps I raised an eyebrow at him, just ever so slightly.

His face broke into a smirk as he took me by the hand and opened the car door for me.

Help us all, if he brings his cop talk home! I'd like to think I'm slightly cuter than most the felons he deals with. Perhaps an extra spritz of body spray and a glossier lipstick will help him remember the difference next time.

But hey, if not, a little tough guy talk now and then will just allow me some internal chuckles throughout the day.

Love. Him.

Monday, January 24, 2011

11 Officers Shot Over 24 Hours- "War on Cops"

"I have never seen anything like it."  Craig W. Floyd, chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

"There's a perception among officers in the field that there's a war on cops going on." Richard Roberts, spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations.

"It's not a good situation out there," Steve Groeninger, spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

As I read this article, I can't help but feel many emotions and frustrations. Be safe out there, officers,. Come home to your families at the end of your shift.

We are waiting for you.....

To the victims and their families, you have many prayers being sent your way. May you find some solace at this difficult time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Thoughts.....

He was standing in the kitchen. Leaning against the island. Arms crossed. His parents were over. I usually get to hear even more stories of his work week when his dad is around.  He likes to talk to his dad about what he does.

"If you move I will kill you. I am serious, we will kill you." His gun was out. Finger on the trigger.  The aspiring "rapper" now sat still in his vehicle. They slapped the cuffs on him right there before removing him from the car and then removing the fully loaded pistol from the from seat.

It still seems strange to me. I know full well every word that was said was meant. He would kill that man if he moved. And rightfully so. I guess I'm still not used to the fact that he has his gun out, prepared to kill another human, weekly at the very least. Its just still seems so different. I'm grateful he's out there protecting the innocent and his fellow officers and is not afraid to take initiative and unholster his weapon when it becomes necessary in his shift. It is just what is normal now.

There I sat in the kitchen cheering him on thinking, "Darn right, baby, he is not going to move without you blasting a few rounds in him. You are coming home at the end of every shift. No matter what the cost."

I hope I can explain myself right. It's not strange that he is carrying or using a gun. That's familiar. He had a concealed carry permit long before becoming a cop. With the very low income rental properties that we had, carrying a gun was just a smart thing to do. After a big Rottweiler chased him onto the hood of his truck when he was knocking on doors collecting rent, he never left his gun at home. He was also a hunter. Brought us home fresh game, antlers hung in the garage. I'm used to guns. I appreciate guns. I want them in my house.

I guess this recent experience just made me realize that I am still not used to the life and death scenarios that he is faced with every shift. His life. His death. A stranger's life. Their death. How clear his mind must be. How decisive his judgement. How important his training. How prepared emotionally.

I know that most officers never have to fire their weapon. I just didn't realize how often the scenario would still arise.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Roommates......

"Really?"  There they were, our friends, their chins now resting comfortably on our solid oak table, mouths agape.  In my mind I used my serving spatula to lift their jaws back to their correct positions.

I watched the husband give the situation a second thought as a look of shock turned into careful contemplation. His eyes began to glaze over as he imagined wonderful things that might occur if he too, had his own room.

You see, they were over for dinner the other night. Sierra and Shasta playing happily with their children while we enjoyed good conversation and good food. The conversation had an awkward pause at one point in the evening. I asked CA Cop where his iPod was at and he casually replied, "Oh, its in my room," then laughed as he turned to our friends and proudly announced, "because I have my own room, now!"

I guess this seemed very odd to them. For us, it makes total sense and is actually working out very well. I blogged that we were toying with this idea due to his shift change, and we went for it. He gets great sleep, I get great sleep, and I still have access to my closet, clothes, hair products, etc. He "moves back in" on his days off.

When our babies were newborn we set up this same scenario. That way I could tend to the needs of a sleepless, hungry, in need of diaper changing infant without disturbing my man who had to get up early and provide said diapers, blankets, and food. 

CA Cop and I are very close. Getting good rest allows us to remain so!

And so we continue on this journey......