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Was I a Good Cop

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Quickley-b240_max50

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Posted over 3 years ago

 

I saw this in an email and have no idea of who needs to get the credit, I thought it was worth passing on to you all.


 


Was I a good cop?

To those not retired, you will get there someday.  To the others, I just had to pass this on.

Pass this on to any other retiree you know that I may have skipped over.

I think we can all relate in one way or another to this.....  Especially the last paragraph!

Thoughts from a cop who retired in '91.  Just before retiring, some young puppy was busting my chops about how law enforcement has changed, and the system is improving for the best.  I just smiled and gave him a little laugh.

He asked what was so funny.  I told him that I felt sorry for him.  When asked why, I told him, "Because in about 15 years, THIS is going to be your good old days."

We all saw the change in our jobs.  I came on in 1966.  I used to tell the rookies that our academy lasted 3 months.  They gave us a stick, a gun, a dime, and kicked us out into the street.  They told us, “If you need help, use the dime.  If you can't get to a phone, use the stick.  If using the stick pisses him off, use the gun.”

And the first order we received when we were assigned to a district was from our sergeant.  His order was "Don't you EVER bother me, kid."

Law enforcement then, was much different than the current mission.  We delivered babies, got rough in the alley when we needed to, made "Solomon-like" decisions at least once a tour, and often wound up being big brother to the kid we roughed up in that alley a year or so ago.  And, for some reason, none of that managed to get on a report.  And the department didn't really want to know.  All they wanted was numbers, and no ripples in the pond.

Because of the changing times, and the evolution of law enforcement, the modern young officers will never see that form of policing, and of course this is best.  The current way is the right way... Now.  But it was different then (ergo, the Dinosaur Syndrome).

When it's time to go, we wonder if we're going to miss the job.  After all, other than our kids and a few marriages, it was the most important thing in our lives.  Actually, it was the other way around.  The job was first, but only another cop could understand how I mean that.

But have faith, brother!  After a short time of feeling completely impotent (after all, you're just John Q. now), reality hits like a lead weight.

It's not the job we miss after all.  It's what we, as individuals, had accomplished while in this profession that we miss.  The challenge of life and death, good and bad, right and wrong, or even simply easing the pain of some poor bastard for a while, someone we will never see again.

We know the reality of what's happening out there.  We are the ones who have spent our entire adult life picking up the pieces of people's broken lives.  And the bitch of it all is that no one except us knows what we did out there.

I was once told that being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants.  It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

What I missed mostly, though, were the people I worked with.  Most of us came on the job together at the age of 21 or 22.  We grew up together.  We were family.  We went to each other’s weddings, shared the joy of our children's births, and we mourned the deaths of family members and marriages.  We celebrated the good times, and huddled close in the bad.

We went from rookies who couldn't take our eyes off of the tin number of the old timer we worked with, to dinosaurs.

After all, what they gave us was just a job.  What we made of it was a profession.  We fulfilled our mission, and did the impossible each and every day, despite the department and its regulations.

I think the thing that nags you the most when you first retire is: After you leave the job and remove your armor, the part of you that you tucked away on that shelf for all those years, comes out.  It looks at all the things you've hidden away.  All the terrible and all the wonderful things that happened out there.  And it asks you the questions that no one will ever answer:  "Do you think I did OK?  Did I make a difference?  Was I a good cop?"

You know what?  Yeah, you were a good cop!  And you know it!

In closing: the best advice I got, by far, was from an old friend who left the job a few years before me.  He told me to stay healthy, work out and watch my diet.  He said "’Cause that way, the first day of every month you can look in the mirror, smile and say: Screwed them out of another month's pension!!"

Be well!


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, do nothing." Dante

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Vpsomourningband_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thanks again for passing this on, Bill.  LOL  Speaking of age....


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White_shirt_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

This is so true and thanks for posting.  I started in 1972 and had just turned 21 years of age. We seemed so close back then. I recall making many mistakes and the Lt had me for lunch two or three times a week. Back then they didn't paper up your personnel file. If something was placed in your jacket it came out after 120 days. We really had the support of the citizens. I recall a Sgt had the sharpest teeth on the department and spoke to God. In fact he gave advice to God. Don't want to ramble so I will end this comment.

Quickley-b240_max50

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DonnaLynn says ...



Thanks again for passing this on, Bill.  LOL  Speaking of age....



You trying to say something there DonnaLynn?????


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, do nothing." Dante

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Gave u thumbs up on this...  Hahahaha...!!! LMAO!


"We are all ignorant, but we do not ignore the same things"
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“It has to be right, because it works so well. As per the nature of it, I make no hypothesis”
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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Can't believe I just teared up to this. Good thing I'm off tonight, wouldn't want to get a disturbance call, think back to this and break out in tears with the complainants.



My_hk_p2000_sk_v2_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thanks for posting this Bill.  I can relate to it totally and the truths it exhibits is on the mark.  I copied it to hang on to and to pass on to some of the other cops I worked with when I was active.  I really don't miss it or think about those days very often but your post did stir some memories.  And for that, I gotta tell ya brother!  Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thanks for passing this on bill9823.

Vpsomourningband_max50

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bill9823 says ...



DonnaLynn says ...



Thanks again for passing this on, Bill.  LOL  Speaking of age....



You trying to say something there DonnaLynn?????



No, sir! I was successful!  haha


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Newpatch_sq90_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Well said.  Just wonder if the young rookies of today can understand what you were really saying. The part about the brotherhood was just that.  Something some cannot possibly relate to today.  And the person who wrote it left of the part about how many divorces we performed on the street.(place your hands on my badge), lol, if you know what I mean.  Great story all the way around.  Thanks Bill.


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Vpsomourningband_max50

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JIMROC says ...



Well said.  Just wonder if the young rookies of today can understand what you were really saying. The part about the brotherhood was just that.  Something some cannot possibly relate to today.  And the person who wrote it left of the part about how many divorces we performed on the street.(place your hands on my badge), lol, if you know what I mean.  Great story all the way around.  Thanks Bill.



Sheesh, JIMROC, If I'd a known that I could have been divorced a long time ago.  haha


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1979_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Very well said Bill and also so very true. I too am going to copy and send this to my brothers and sisters from "The Old Times". Right on the money with this.


 

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Two more naps and I'll be done reading it.


I like it so far.


Online-photo-sharing-gallery-animal-cat-cougar-artct45_max160_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Kind of bitter sweet isn't it? I get to talk to the "kids" in our academy when they are on smoke break at the same time I am. Oh man,hard to believe we were once so young isn't it ?


PL's Mamacat

Dolphins_fantasy_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Thank you for posting this Bill.

Nintendo_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Very good....very, very good.  I am a "rookie" but I get this because I have spent time around the guys and gals that have been at this a long time.  I love to hear how things have changed even if I wish they hadn't.  Someday, 2011 is going to be eons ago and the rookies showing up will look at me funny when I speak about how things were when I started. 


I can't wait... 


Because that means I was able to serve for a long time....


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8494_bozo_pd_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 3 years ago

 

Excellent! Thanks for posting it...I feel like I'm caught somewhere in the middle of this post. Too old to be the starry eyed new kid, but not old enough to get the pension.  Each retirement is another member of the family moving away, each rookie is another batch of headaches. I think of whether I've made a difference, and if I will continue to do so. 


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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Bumped to the top for a while.

Th_detective_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Oh so true, thanks for Bumping this one back.....


 


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Quickley-b240_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

I'm glad this was bumped. It was good to read again and yes, I was a good cop and I miss the people I worked with.


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, do nothing." Dante

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Love it!!!

Female_bodysurfer_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

This is probably the best Forum topic I've seen at PL in four years. 

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Thanks for posting this Bill.  Brings back a lot of memories, I started in the 70's and things have certainly changed.  Now I'm the retired one and yeah I do miss it....the "brotherhood" which included the sisters wearing the badge as well.  Although it does make me wonder if I was a good cop?  I guess all I know is that I did my best. 


Fantastic post.

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

I'm not retired but I am driving a desk now, reading this makes me miss the street.


PL's Mamacat

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Your post is a tear jerker.

New_picture__1__max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Thanks for the POST.  I also saw this on another forum. 


Tears? No Pride.  I was there and did it and did it well.  This brother got it.  The feeling of doing a good job, and hopfully having fun doing it.


If you are asking yourself, was I a good Cop?  Don't ask you were!!!  If you can read this you are still involved and not giving up.  Passing on the knowledge you have to our new brothers and sisters.  Helping others as they start in this profession and life in the wild and wierd world we protect.


Tears No, Pride Yes.  Were you a good cop?  H--L YES you were, you ALL were, and you ALL ARE.


Thanks to the Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the Badge.


Simper Cop!!!

Eagle_and_flag_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

   BUMP!!!!!!!  GREAT READ!!!!


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John_groh_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Fantastic read, thanks for reposting this.  Brings back memories.

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

Great post.  As Hank Williams used to say, "If the Good Lord's willin' and the creek don't rise," I'll be there in ANOTHER 15 years or so.


Never, never, never give up. - Winston Churchill

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Rate This | Posted almost 3 years ago

 

BUMP, BUMP, BUMP!!!


OUTSTANDING POST! Thanks Bill


"It's Never To Late To Be What You Could Have Been"

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