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My entire life I have been the daughter of a police officer. I never felt that my dad was in any danger when he left for work every day. He had a ‘regular’ job and he came home every day in one piece. I didn’t give his job a second thought.

On August 9th, 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. On August 11th, 2014, I walked into my middle school to students yelling “f*** the police”. Hearing kids yell obscenities about police officers, about my father, put his job into perspective.

I realized that his job wasn’t a nine to five; it’s an eight hour shift with a side of two AM call-ins to work a wreck where a four year old child died. I realized that we don’t talk about his day at dinner because he’d rather not talk about the shooting that occurred earlier in the day. I realized that I could tell him goodbye in the morning and never see him again, because he decided to protect and serve a community that didn’t care if he was protected.

What the students at my school don’t realize is that the police, they curse, have a family they hope to go home to every night. They have a spouse that depends on them. They have a son that looks up to them. They have a daughter that they hug in the morning and hope that they’ll get to hug her again that night.

I am that daughter. Now, because of an event 250 miles away and three simple words, I am a daughter that is scared. I fear losing my father to people who don’t respect him like I do. I’m afraid I’ll hug him one morning and won’t be able to hug him that night. But, from all of my worry comes a lesson; I don’t take my father for granted. He gives me my freedom by willingly serving an ungrateful community. I appreciate everything he’s done for me even if others don’t. I respect him for leaving me every morning, not knowing what he has planned for the day, to keep me safe.

Every morning, I do the same thing. I wrap my arms around my father and feel his bulletproof vest under his navy blue uniform and I hug him a little tighter. My head rests against his cold, silver badge over his heartbeat and I stay a little longer. I don’t want to let him go because I don’t know what lies ahead, but I let go. As he walks out the front door, I pray for one more day.

-The Daughter of a Police Officer

Thank an officer today.

The Officer Next Door

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6 Comments »

  1. This is an awesome tribute to your father a great officer and yes it’s a tough job that not everyone can do Thank You for your service and thank you young lady for a wonderful article. I know what you feel I am the mother of a police officer

  2. I too am the daughter of a police officer, but times were different then. I took for granted that he would come home after his shift. We were lucky. I am so glad. I lost my dad more than 21 years ago after 12 years of retirement. I miss him every day. I am glad he doesn’t have to deal with police work today. I would worry now.

  3. This a great article, it is so on the the money. It is especially important for police officers and their families to say and hear that you love each other. Say it, don’t just assume it.

    On February 27, 1972, at 14 years old, I woke up to the sound of my transistor radio telling the world about a police shootout at an apartment near my home. Two men were dead, a criminal and one police detective. Another police detective was fighting for his life. It was my father. Within 12 hours Detective Michael Irwin was dead from a gunshot wound to his head. My mother was left a widow with 4 teenagers to raise.

    10 years later in 1982, now a police officer, I sustained a career ending injury. Thanks to my 4 children, family and friends, we are all doing good.

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