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08-26-07, 08:07 PM #1
Your not a Police Officer until you taste them....Your not a Police Officer until you taste them.... by: Rick Monticello
The department was all astir, there was a lot of laughing and joking due to all the new officers, myself included, hitting the streets today for the first time. After months of seemingly endless amounts of classes, paperwork, and lectures we were finally done with the Police academy and ready to join the ranks of our department.
All you could see were rows of cadets with huge smiles and polished badges. As we sat in the briefing room, we could barely sit still anxiously awaiting our turn to be introduced and given our beat assignment or, for the lay person, our own portion of the city to "serve and protect."
It was then that he walked in. A statue of a man - 6 foot 3 and 230 pounds of solid muscle, he had black hair with highlights of gray and steely eyes that make you feel nervous even when he wasn't looking at you. He had a reputation for being the biggest and the smartest officer to ever work our fair city. He had been on the department for longer then anyone could remember and those years of service had made him into somewhat of a legend.
The new guys, or "rookies" as he called us, both respected and feared him.
When he spoke even the most seasoned officers paid attention. It was almost a privilege when one of the rookies got to be around when he would tell one of his police stories about the old days. But we knew our place and never
interrupted for fear of being shooed away. He was respected and revered by all who knew him.
After my first year on the department I still had never heard or saw him speak to any of the rookies for any length of time. When he did speak to them all he would say was, "So, you want to be a policeman do you hero? I'll tell
you what, when you can tell me what they taste like, then you can call yourself a real policeman."
This particular phrase I had heard dozens of times. Me and my buddies all had bets about "what they taste like" actually referred to. Some believed it referred to the taste of your own blood after a hard fight. Others thought it
referred to the taste of sweat after a long day's work. Being on the department for a year, I thought I knew just about everyone and everything. So one afternoon, I mustered up the courage and walked up to him. When he
looked down at me, I said "You know, I think I've paid my dues. I've been in plenty of fights, made dozens of arrests, and sweated my butt off just like everyone else. So what does that little saying of yours mean anyway?"
With that, he merely stated, "Well, seeing as how you've said and done it all, you tell me what it means, hero." When I had no answer, he shook his head and snickered, "rookies," and walked away.
The next evening was to be the worst one to date. The night started out slow, but as the evening wore on, the calls became more frequent and dangerous. I made several small arrests and then had a real knock down drag out fight.
However, I was able to make the arrest without hurting the suspect or myself.
After that, I was looking forward to just letting the shift wind down and getting home to my wife and daughter.
I had just glanced at my watch and it was 11:55, five more minutes and I would be on my way to the house. I don't know if it was fatigue or just my imagination, but as I drove down one of the streets on my beat, I thought I
saw my daughter standing on someone else's porch. I looked again but it was not my daughter as I had first thought but merely a small child about her age. She was probably only six or seven years old and dressed in an oversized shirt that hung to her feet. She was clutching an old rag doll in her arms that looked older than me.
I immediately stopped my patrol car to see what she was doing outside her house at such an hour by herself. When I approached, there seemed to be a sigh of relief on her face. I had to laugh to myself, thinking she sees the
hero policeman come to save the day. I knelt at her side and asked what she was doing outside.
She said "My mommy and daddy just had a really big fight and now mommy won't wake up." My mind was reeling. Now what do I do? I instantly called for backup and ran to the nearest window. As I looked inside I saw a man standing
over a lady with his hands covered in blood, her blood. I kicked open the door, pushed the man aside and checked for a pulse, but was unable to find one. I immediately cuffed the man and began doing CPR on the lady.
It was then I heard a small voice from behind me, "Mr. Policeman, please make my mommy wake up." I continued to perform CPR until my backup and medics arrived but they said it was too late. She was dead.
I then looked at the man. He said, "I don't know what happened. She was yelling at me to stop drinking and to get a job and I just had enough. I just shoved her so she would leave me alone and she fell and hit her head."
As I walked the man out to the car in handcuffs, I again saw that little girl. In the five minutes that has passed, I went from hero to monster. Not only was I unable to wake up her mommy, but now I was taking daddy away too.
Before I left the scene, I thought I would talk to the little girl. To say what, I don't know. Maybe just to tell her I was sorry about her mommy and daddy. But as I approached, she turned away and I knew it was useless and I would probably make it worse.
As I sat in the locker room at the station, I kept replaying the whole thing in my mind. Maybe if I would have been faster or done something different, just maybe that little girl would still have her mother. And even though it
may sound selfish, I would still be the hero.
It was then that I felt a large hand on my shoulder. I heard that all too familiar question again, "Well, hero, what do they taste like?"
But before I could get mad or shout some sarcastic remark, I realized that all the pent up emotions had flooded the surface and there was a steady stream of tears cascading down my face. It was at that moment that I realized
what the answer to his question was. Tears.
With that, he began to walk away, but he stopped. "You know, there was nothing you could have done differently," he said. "Sometimes you can do everything right and still the outcome is the same. You may not be the hero
you once thought you were, but now you ARE a police officer."
New Jersey"People too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage yours!"
" A Society That Wages A War Against Its' Police, Had Better Learn To Make Friends With Its' Criminals."
08-26-07, 10:17 PM #2
A smile cost nothing, but gives so much.
It enriches those who receive it,without making poorer those who give.It takes but a moment, but the memoryof it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that hecan get along without it,and none is so poor but thathe can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness in the home,fosters goodwill in business,and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary,cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad,and it is nature's best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed,or stolen, for it is something that is of novalue to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.Give them one of yours, as none needs a smileso much as he who has no more to give.
- author unknown
08-26-07, 10:25 PM #3
08-26-07, 11:27 PM #4
I've read that before.
Great post.No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
"The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".
We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.
08-26-07, 11:42 PM #5
Glad you posted that, I have been trying to find it.
Excellent post.Wise men stand behind me, brave men stand beside me, but only fools stand against me.
The force that propels you to prevail when you are put to a test of survival will be a mindset that refuses to accept nothing but winning.
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, BUT, it only takes 4 muscles to reach out and bitch slap that motherf*cker upside the head.
08-27-07, 12:47 AM #6
08-27-07, 07:29 AM #7
GREATNESS!!!! That was GOOD!!http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...ndid=197722498
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
08-27-07, 10:23 PM #8
Absolutely fantastic, sent chills through my spine."Take your hand offs the car and I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document" UNKNOWN
08-27-07, 11:14 PM #9
I've seen this one before but it is definitely worth the read, over and over and over again.
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
08-31-07, 06:13 AM #10
Great post, thanks for sharing
08-31-07, 06:34 AM #11
great post" The hardest thing about disarming an armed suspect is not slipping on your own shit "
Michael P. Gordon E.O.W 08 Aug 2004
The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS and I accept sole responsibility as such.
08-31-07, 07:04 AM #12
Great postJust because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!
08-31-07, 07:18 AM #13Rookie
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Am I the only one who cries when they read someting like that? Awsome.
09-01-07, 04:34 PM #15
Great re-post. If you're a cop with any experience, then you understand this and have tasted them.
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