My father is a sergeant on the police force outside of Denver and has been a cop almost my whole life. I grew up knowing my dad went to work with a gun and a bulletproof vest because his job was dangerous. We had breakfast once a week at a bagel shop near my high school and drew stares and questions from classmates wanting to know why I was dining with a cop. "What did he need?" "Are you in trouble?" "No, that's my dad," I'd say with a questioning tone. It was odd to them to see a uniformed police officer with his kid, a kid they knew.
It never seemed odd to me, that's just my dad.
It's a different way to grow up and as I got older I realized how different being a cop's kid was, and still is. Every time a cop is hurt or killed in the line of duty it hurts, even if you didn't know them, even if it was no where near home. Someone, somewhere just lost their someone. This is a reality every single day for those of us that love a cop.
People tend to forget cops are people too. They're brothers, sisters, moms, dads, daughters and sons. Friends, family. When you call the cops, that's my father or brother showing up to protect you.
A long time ago we decided that anytime a cop was injured or killed anywhere near his jurisdiction, he'd let us know so we didn't worry when it hit the news.
Today I got a call from my dad around 6am his time (we're two time zones apart). I was getting my son up and my phone was in another room. I immediately checked his message as this is a very odd time for him to be calling me. I could immediately hear pain in his voice.
My dad told me this morning a cop from his department had been killed, but that he was not involved and had been called in to help with the ensuing chaos.
I burst into tears; it was a mixture of relief and grief. I was grateful I wasn't the one getting "the call" all cop families fear. I was heartbroken for the family who wasn't so lucky. All cop families are in this together and I am devastated for this family I don't even know.
My prayers, thoughts and heart go out to the family of this cop and the members of his department
Next time you see a cop or need help, just remember these officers have families and they are someone's something behind that badge.