I recently become a police wife.
My husband has always wanted to have a job that is active and that keeps the adrenaline pumping. For several years he worked for our fire department, but just recently he has made the switch over to becoming a police officer. At the end of August, he was sworn in and I now proudly wear the title of LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) wife.
Our police officers in the field are often working long and hard hours, and instead of being thanked and respected for their job, they are instead making enemies every day. The current climate of our society is tense and police officers are often found directly in the middle of the controversial events that make the news.
Despite all this, I beam with pride when I see my husband put on all the pieces of his uniform and head out the door for his shift. I love to hear the stories he tells when he comes home of burglaries stopped, trees removed from cars, Narcan administered and people helped (there are also some horror stories that he bears and frequently I have to ask him to not tell me those stories).
So, even though I might be a rookie LEO wife, there are few things that I have already learned along the way that I wanted to share with other wives and mothers out there.
- We LEO wives can get awfully lonely. Our husbands work 10-hour shifts, but this almost always turns into staying over. One can’t simply clock out in the middle of a burglary or when responding to a car accident. On top of the longer than average shifts, our husbands are also working all hours of the day and night. This means that as wives, we will often show up at events without our husband and Dad. Basically, when our LEO is at work- he is not available for contact or to come home to help with a broken water heater or sick child. There are no “emergencies” at home when they are truly dealing with emergencies at work. This can make it pretty lonely!
- The media doesn’t know the half of it. Oh, boy…this one might be a little bit controversial…. but the media doesn’t know what they are talking about. They skew things and misreport and very few media personnel have read the laws and rules and regulations of what a police officer can and cannot do. As an LEO wife, it irks me to no end when people will attack police officers simply based on the news that they watched this morning. Trust me…they don’t know or understand what happened. When forming opinions and seeking information, search for more reliable sources than social and new media.
- However, police officers are human. It’s safe to say that the media doesn’t know or report things properly, but I’m also not naïve enough to think that every police officer always responds for the good of the people. Unfortunately, even police officers are selfish or sinful and broken, and some of them may even just be exhausted or distracted.
- They work SO hard. The stereotype of police officers is that they sit around all day, gain weight and eat donuts. This may be true for some, it is not an accurate stereotype, especially in our city. In order to complete the police academy, they must go through months of rigorous training: mental, physical and emotional. They sit for hours in lecture, writing out notes, then they come home and do hours of homework. They have weapons training and spend weeks doing tactical training. They are pepper sprayed, tased and have to take off their gas masks and run through tear gas. And that is just the academy. When they start working they are on their feet, they are constantly responding to our people in need.
- We LEO wives are so proud of them, and you should be, too. I may have already mentioned it once or twice before, but I’ll say it again: we are so proud of our boys in blue. They are hard-working, dedicated, and out there for the good of the people. They are dressed in their uniform with their bullet-proof vest, no matter the weather. When you see a police officer, please don’t forget to stop and thank them. Don’t forget to wave, nod or smile in their direction when you see them. Remember that although they are in uniform and they take their job seriously, they also are human- husbands and Dads simply cloaked in the blue.
More Information About the Dayton Police Department:
- The chief of police is Chief Richard Biehl. The assistant Chief of police is Mark Ecton.
- A very helpful article on when police officers are allowed to use force or deadly force.
- There are many community engagement efforts with the Dayton Police Department, including Coffee with a Cop, Citizens Police Academy, National Night Out, and using a DPD police officer for a school or community event.
- For those who are over 21 years of age and are interested in learning more about the DPD in a hands-on way, the Dayton Police Department offers volunteer positions or an opportunity to do a ride-along with an officer on his shift.