I am Blessed

iamblessed

Ed. Note: This essay written by Eric Kaiser, the chief of the Jourdanton Police Department, in Texas, expresses perfectly what so many of us feel about our careers in law enforcement. We thought it was one of the best pieces that we’ve seen on this particular theme. Eric wrote it especially for Police Week. Let us know what you think in the Comments section below.

So few people get to follow their calling in life. Most of us work to provide for our families and many even enjoy what they do for a living, but few get to call their career a calling. But I do.

I and the roughly 800,000 other law enforcement officers in this country get to wake up everyday and have the honor of serving our fellow Americans in a way that few qualify to do. You see, of those who profess to have pursued a law enforcement career, only about two percent of those people ever actually pin on a badge.

The reality is that less than one percent of our citizens are law enforcement officers. We are a small fraternity.

And while our profession has been on the front lines the last few years, taking a beating in the media, being scrutinized by those who look for fault in every action an officer takes, we still consider ourselves fortunate.

Our jobs help us to raise our families, pay our bills and at the same time serve our neighbors, our families and our friends. When you hear people say “someone ought to do something about that”…we are the ones that get to do “something.”

The efforts of police officers make our streets safer, save lives at accident scenes, get property returned to its rightful owner, and put rapists and murderers behind bars. While officers will be the first to tell you that they don’t enjoy cleaning up the carnage of a drunk driving accident or seeing the aftermath of a sexual assault, they do the joy of seeing a case through to completion. They know the satisfaction of being able to help someone put the pieces back together again after a life altering trauma.

Officers see the worst society has to offer and still come back to work the next day with the knowledge that sometimes it is actually within their power to fix the world’s problems.

I will be honest, though. This line of work takes a toll on those who take it on.

Police officers have a life span that averages 10 years shorter than the average American. The divorce rate is higher than average. Officers often miss birthdays and holidays with family because of bizarre hours. They know that no matter how far they excel at their profession, it will never make them wealthy. They know that any given shift could find them in the hospital or worse. They know that when they have to use force on someone, a spectator will likely be recording the incident, and that those recordings are often manipulated or edited to further the cause of those who disrespect authority in any of its forms.

So why then do they go back, shift after shift, day after day, year after year? Why do little boys and girls put on plastic badges and cap guns, openly telling you they want to be a police officer when they grow up? Why do college-educated people, who could certainly make more money in the private sector, choose instead to become a cop?

Because it’s their calling.

They have heeded the call to serve and it becomes a part of them. You see being a police officer is not what you do, it is who you are. If you are doing the job correctly, you are following your calling to serve society, and make a difference in the lives of those around you. And while you may see the ugly side of the job on the news tonight, I see the great work done by officers everyday. I see the countless hours spent tracking down a lead or a suspect. I see the difference they make in peoples’ lives. I see that our society is one thin blue line away from chaos. And I will see them show up to do again tomorrow what someone blasted them for doing today. Protecting me and my family. Serving me and my family.

I hope you see that too.

Eric Kaiser can be reached at (830) 769-2241 or by email at ekaiser@jourdantonpd.net.

5 comments

Eric, thank you for all you and other law enforcement like you do every day. It is shameful what the media has done to beat up on those who, like you, are called to serve. Keep it up. Don’t ever give up on your calling. The media may not support you, but rest assured there are millions of us who do.

Rick,

I could not be more proud of you and your calling, the way you handle yourself for your family, friends, community and country. Yes, I believe that people like you make our country a better place to live, you see the big picture and influence those around you to hopefully become the best they can be also. You use your mind, body and morality to educate and protect ………it’s not just strapping on a gun and being a badass. I so appreciate how you help those in your community whether it is a self defense class for women or classroom discussions with school children………you perform a full and comprehensive view of life and care for your community and the people in it.

Your entire family is proud of you. I send you our hugs and love…. be safe……..

Thank you chief Kaiser for those words well put. My youngest son has that same calling to become a police officer, even amongst the bad that is so sadly reported in the media. He has one more semester of college and will be 22 in October. My prayers go up for all law enforcement and especially for my son in whom I am so proud .

I agree with you 100%. I did it for 35 years and now in retirement I still donate my time as a member of the department’s HNT unit. I call it “the love of the game”. It’s like a Baseball player of yesteryear, they didn’t play for the money as there was nearly money to live on. Big difference is that being a Cop or being in the military can be and is a dangerous profession. You never know where it’s going to take you, or where you will being going next. Instead of running away from sound of gun fire, you run toward the gun fire, never knowing what o will find, but we now that whatever it is they are more than likely going to need our help. We continually keep our backs to the wall and make sure that our brother officers are safe. Our lives are never at our forefront, it’s always our partners and the citizens around us. That is why we are there. It’s not the money, it’s not being a hero, it’s not anything other than the”Calling” the “Love of the game”. God bless you all and keep your backs to the walls. The Lord is on our side and is always watching over us.

The calling came late in life and … quite unexpectedly. But when it arrived, it was as clear as a bell. I knew, without doubt, what my Maker was calling me to do. I am more grateful to be part of this brotherhood than words could ever convey. Though I now serve those who serve (in a trainer capacity), I remain staunch in my oath to serve my country as it had no expiration date. God bless every one of my brothers & sisters in arms for their courageous devotion.

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