Friday, November 09, 2012

Behind a Badge

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.


Justin Robertson said...

So well written. Thank you. It is quite apparent that your father has passed his gift of writing on to you. Again, thank you.

Hopsi said...

Well put, Katy! I am a friend of your dad's and have always seen and felt the love he has for you when he talks about you. Now I see and feel the love you have for him. As a former member of the law enforcement family, you put many of my thoughts in perspective. Thank you for sharing your gift!

Lisa Hopsicker

Katy LaRoo said...

Justin, thank you. That means more to me than you know. Thank you, thank you.

I'm glad I could help put people's emotions into words. I've found it helps to feel and then heal when you can put things into words so if my writing helps people do that, that's amazing to me. I'm glad the love for my dad comes through, he's an amazing man. :)

MaggieMel said...

The shock and grief have spread across the country like raindrops on a lake, in enlarging concentric circles until the entire lake is quivering. But as the churning waves hit the shore they return toward the point of impact, softer, rolling, carrying prayers and support from all of us.

Lakewood PD, you are appreciated and the country stands beside you through this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Katy, I work with your dad and have worked for him. He is a great person. His words have helped me this time and in the past. He has always been there for me and recently was there for me while my mom battled and lost to cancer. He is one person that when he asks how your doing he truly wants to know and is not just going through the motions like most people. I have 4 kids myself and wonder how they view me and my job. They are still young but your words gave me something to think about thank you.
AJ Zayatz