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


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


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.


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.