Every single day, police officers go to work and they don’t know what will happen. Will they come home at the end of their shift? They are just like us. They have girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, and kids. They have families that care about them. Most family members will tell you, they worry about them all the time.
They run into danger every single minute of the day or night. The media like to say that they were just on a routine traffic stop when something happens. There is nothing routine when you are walking up on a car that you have no idea who is at the wheel. It could be a wanted person who has a gun.
When I saw James Patterson wrote this book called Walk The Blue Line, I jumped at the chance to read it. I wasn’t disappointed. If you always wanted to learn about the calls and cases that officers deal with, this book is for you. Each chapter consists of an officer who talks about one or more cases they worked. Some can be downright sad. Others will make you feel good that they are out there helping us.
The people who become officers don’t do it for the pay. In fact, some officers have taken pay cuts to take on this job. This is a calling. Officers have a duty to enforce the law. That's how they protect and serve. They like going and helping people.
One officer saw a murder as a kid and that triggered him to want to be a sheriff’s deputy and gang detective. He wanted to help the community, so that no other kid would go through what he went through.
There are officers of all diverse ethnic backgrounds. Officers treat people with respect like you are a family member. They serve everyone.
This is a difficult job. Officers go through exercise regimes to keep their fitness up. They may need to fight a suspect or take a suspect down to the ground.
No officer wants to get into a fight, to get shot at or to shoot anyone. But they always keep their mind sharp for what-if scenarios. When they happen, they are prepared to make split-second decisions. Every situation they deal with could be a matter of life and death.
If you think they don’t have emotions during calls, you’re mistaken. They are human and have emotions too. They are there to save the suspects and the victims.
Some stories will bring you to tears.
Some of these calls have lasting impacts on them. They keep in contact with the victim’s families over the years. The victims invite them to special festivities. The ability to bring closure is tremendously rewarding, the best and most important part of their job.
Officers see the worst of the worst. Imagine seeing kids as young as ninth and tenth graders murdering people. Don’t think it happens. Read this book. You’ll hear the stories.
People who hate cops don’t truly understand everything they do. They constantly complain about officers. They should walk in their shoes. They need to see the stressful situations they are put in.
They are really affected by the things they see. PTSD is prevalent within law enforcement. Things they see, we would never want to see. Imagine seeing blood, brains, or someone’s head being blown off. This isn’t like the movies. This is real life. And it happens every day in communities across the country.
Cops return to the same battlefields every day. They relive violent moments when they see an apartment complex where someone might have died. There's no escape.
An officer who pulls the trigger is devastated. They never want to do that. But if their life or someone else’s life is in danger, they’ll do what they can to protect themselves and the intended victim.
In some cities, the criminals are in control because the cops have zero control. And they know it.
The truth is the criminals have the upper hand. This is because cities are defunding the police. These politicians are hurting the very citizens of their community. More crime equals more suffering.
One officer was shot in the line of duty and a family member asked her why she would want to go back to work. She told them that she wanted to solve crime and get the bad guys. She wanted people to feel safe and be out there protecting them.
Another female officer can't forget one of her most chilling cases. She finds a way to never forget. It will touch your heart.
They’re in the business of saving lives and building true relationships within their communities. Sometimes it's just sitting down with someone and having a conversation. Sometimes they hear back from these people. You’ll be happy to hear the results.
They do care. Compassion can win the day. They look for the good in people. If they do good for people, good things happen to them.
They take it personal when it comes to a child, whether it’s violence or something being stolen. For example, a girl’s bike was stolen. Two officers go above and beyond to make her happy again. Her reaction stays with the officers for weeks.
Behind every badge is a human being who has flaws and problems and suffers and is trying to do the best job he or she can.
Kindness. Respect. Compassion. Empathy. You never know how these simple, small acts can help someone turn their life around.
The majority of officers do their job honestly. Don't let a few bad apples taint the job that 99% of law enforcement officers conduct in the correct manner.
I encourage you to buy this book or check it out of your local library. It is a great read. Even if I didn’t know anything about law enforcement, I would still be recommending this book. This gives an all-around look at cases from small to large. You get an understanding of what officers face on a daily basis. Some of you might change your tune when you think about what they do.
Full Disclosure: I was a volunteer with some police departments locally and nationally. There is more to that story but I’ll hold off until I can talk about it in more detail another time.
Until next time, happy reading!
I want to hear your comments. Have you had any interaction with an officer that you would like to talk about? Don’t be shy!
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Thanks for this review, Matt--I’m going to get a copy. Sounds interesting! If you haven’t read Tim Cotton’s books, check them out. He’s a retired officer from Bangor, Maine Police Department.