Just like in my radio interview from 2010 where I was promoting the upcoming release of my second novel, "Welcome to Parkview," I was referred to as "wearing many hats;" from husband, father of 3, musician, author, and, yes, police officer. I had to quit working as a full-time crime fighter in October, 2011 due to the move to Japan. So, I stayed on the department part-time, flying back to GA every year from Japan to work the street, and get in the minimum mandated training and firearms qualifications that is required to keep my certification. How many people do you know that have commuted from Japan to the eastern USA to keep a job?
Through the 4 years that we were in Japan, I successfully came back every year to work. Now that we are living in NC, and I am still "employed" by the PD in GA, I have started to work part-time... on a minimal basis. I have worked twice (a week each time) over the past 6 months. What I have found, with each "work week" with each year that has past since I left GA (2012 - 2016) has been, lack for a better term, eye opening. Its kind of like when you see someone every single day who has decided to grow their hair. You don't notice the growth, every day. Its too slow. It becomes a part of every day visual. But if you only saw this person ONCE every single year, for 5 years, and they had never cut their hair in 5 years, each time you saw them, you would notice immediately how different they looked, and maybe even a slight attitude change with their new looks. This is how I have felt with policing over the last 5 years of working 1 week a year. The hair gets blatantly longer, and I cant help but notice.
So what is this long hair I am talking about? It seems policing has become even more dangerous. The public seems to distrust us more and more, and not just the bad guys, either. For a while I was blaming the police officers themselves. You know, the bad apples that give the rest of us a bad name. I held onto that for a few years, but it was last year when I started to wonder if it was the media and news running with this idea that its sheik or sexy or trendy or hip to paint the police in a bad light. And you know there are many people out there who believe everything they read. I think the media has shifted its focus on police, and has allowed--no, not allowed... highly suggested, facilitated, and manipulated--certain citizens to truly believe that ALL police racially profile, ALL police are corrupt, ALL police use excessive force. While there certainly ARE some terrible police officers working the street right now, we have to keep in mind that one rotten apple should be fired... not be a reflection of everyone who puts on the uniform and wears the badge everyday.
For all my brothers in blue who will always due the right thing: keep fighting the good fight. And stay safe....