This has been around for awhile, but it is always good reading

A Cop on the Take

First he takes…the oath
Now look at what else he takes
He takes…it in stride when people call him pig
He takes…his lousy pay-check realizing he’ll never be rich
He takes…a second job sometimes to make ends meet
and support his family
He takes…time to stop and talk to children
He takes…your verbal abuse while giving you a
ticket you really deserved
He takes…on creeps you would be afraid to even look at
He takes…time away from his family to keep you safe
He takes…your injured child to the hospital
He takes…the late shift without complaint because
it’s his turn
He takes…his life into his hands daily
He takes…you home when your car breaks down
He takes…time to explain why both
your headlights have to work
He takes…the job no one else wants—
telling you a loved one has died
He takes…criminals to jail
He takes…insights that would make you cry
Sometimes he cries too, but he takes it anyway
because someone has to
He takes…memories to bed each night that you
couldn’t bear for even one day
He takes…time to explain to his family why he can’t
make the ball game his child is in and why he has to work
on the holiday when other parents are off
Sometimes…he takes a bullet
And yes, occasionally…he may take a free cup of coffee
If he is lucky…he takes retirement
Then one day he pays for all he has taken …
and hopefully, God takes him

Written by Texas Police Chief Officer Kendricks as a tribute to his late brother,
Police Office Rodney Kendricks who died from injuries suffered
in an on-duty auto accident in Lubbock, Texas July 2001