If truth be told I have been struggling for the past several months. Last week hit its peak when I had my two children sobbing for over two hours for fear that they may never see their father again. I had absolutely no way of reassuring them that he was going to come home safe or when we would see him again.
It has been over 9 years since I put on the uniform and went out into my community to serve and protect because I CARE! I wasn't taught hate and how to discriminate in the police academy; I was taught the law, how to enforce the law, how catch a bad guy, how to understand that not everyone is bad but a situation may go bad (helps to have a psychology degree under my belt prior to my academy education and training), how to defend and protect others, how to come home alive and help my brothers and sisters make it home alive... I care about my community. I helped people. (I still help people in a different way.) The men and women who served along side of me felt the same. Over two months ago I shared real accounts of real men and women of law enforcement - the side of the story the media refused to share. Many of these people I served with are my friends. I would NEVER let my children be around people who weren't good people. I have been criticized by some (not many but still happened) family and friends for being a police officer and being married to one...being classified as "bad". I have had to rethink how I involve myself with these people, in regards to the treatment of my children.
I have been very depressed all week and today seems to be the boiling point. I don't know if it is because I woke up in the middle of the night having a nightmare, along side my husband who was having a nightmare himself. Both of these nightmares had to do with the behavior of people in our country who have no regard for human life. I am one who really struggles with hypocrisy.
People have labeled ALL officers in a very negative light. I almost find it funny to hear all of the opinions of people who have NEVER served their community, only taken from it. I will tell you that the majority of officers I know do not fall under these negative labels. I will tell you there is bad and evil in all walks of life. I have spent my entire adulthood as leading by example and treating people the way I want to be treated - sure I mess up but not without rethinking and changing my ways.
While I no longer wear a badge and a gun and I am no longer out in the middle of the night looking for people who prey upon innocent others I can relate to these words I just read by an officer who wrote exactly how I feel:
Today, I stopped caring about my fellow man. I stopped caring about my community, my neighbors, and those I serve. I stopped caring today because a once noble profession has become despised, hated, distrusted, and mostly unwanted.
I stopped caring today because parents refuse to teach their kids right from wrong and blame us when they are caught breaking the law. I stopped caring today because parents tell their little kids to be good or “the police will take you away” embedding a fear from year one. Moms hate us in their schools because we frighten them and remind them of the evil that lurks in the world.
They would rather we stay unseen, but close by if needed, but readily available to “fix their kid.” I stopped caring today because we work to keep our streets safe from mayhem in the form of reckless, drunk, high, or speeding drivers, only to be hated for it, yet hated even more because we didn’t catch the drunk before he killed someone they may know.
Nevertheless, we are just another tool used by government to generate “revenue.” I stopped caring today because Liberals hate the police as we carry guns, scare kids, and take away their drugs. We always kill innocent people with unjust violence. We are called bullies for using a Taser during a fight, but are condemned further for not first tasing the guy who pulls a gun on us.
And if we do have to shoot, we are asked “why didn’t you just shoot the gun out of their hand?” And when one of us is killed by the countless attacks that do happen (but are rarely reported in the mainstream media) the haters say, “Its just part of the job.” I stopped caring today because Conservatives hate us as we are “the Government.” We try to take away their guns, freedoms, and liberty at every turn.
We represent a “Police State” where “jackbooted badge-wearing thugs” randomly attack innocent people without cause or concern for constitutional rights. We are Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Rodney King all rolled into one lone police officer stopping to help change an old lady’s tire. I stopped caring today as no one wants us around, but instantly demands answers, results, arrests, when a crime takes place. If a crime isn’t solved within the allocated 60 minutes it takes CSI on television, we are inept, incompetent, or covering something up. If we do get “lucky” it was just that and everyone with a Facebook account can post wonderful comments of how “they” would solve the case and how “we” are not nearly as clever.
I stopped caring today because a video of a cop six states away, from a department that you never heard of, screws up and forgets his oath of honor, thus firing up an internet lynch-mob of cop haters even though 99% of us work twice as hard not to end up in the news and to still be “the good guys.”
We are “militarized” because we wear body armor and kevlar helmets when shots are fired or rocks thrown at us and carry scary looking rifles even though everyone knows that they are easier to shoot and are more accurate than a handgun or a shotgun.
I stopped caring today because the culture of today’s instantly connected youth is only there to take and never give back. To never accept responsibility for ones actions, but to blame everyone else instead of themselves. To ask “what is in it for me?” versus “what can I do for you?”
To idolize gangsters, thugs, sexually promiscuous behavior, and criminals over hard work, dedication, and achievement. To argue that getting stoned should be a right, yet getting a job or an education is a hassle. To steal verus earn. To hate versus help. Yes, I stopped caring today. But tomorrow, I will put my uniform back on and I will care again.
Written by Daniel Furseth. He is a lieutenant with the DeForest, Wisconsin Police Department.