Not sure where to start, this is more of a brain dump than anything. I'm a long time reader around here and don't post much but the insight and experience around here keeps me coming back. I'm fairly new on the job. I can honestly say that I feel like I really accomplished something most days when I get home. Some of the luster has worn off but overall I can't imagine doing anything else. I didn't come into this gig with starry eyes thinking I was going to change the world, but that I would do my best to at least improve the area I was in for the 12 hours I was in it. Without a doubt, I do just that, even if it is just stopping a speeder or picking up a DWI. They always said that the things you see and deal with will change you. I agree 100%. I wouldn't say that I have changed the core of who I am, but I certainly see things differently, for better or for worse. For one, the idea that I'm always carrying a gun, either at work or on my days off is something that was strange at first, but now it's like putting on socks, it's just something you do. And it's not the physical "there is a gun ony hip", but it's the reason that it is there, the whole warrior mindset thing. It's not there to be cool, it's there because it serves a purpose. For whatever reason, today it hit me. After I finished booking my latest lick, I realized that for the 12 hours I am working, I am a sponge for misery! ....and even after that realization, I STILL love this gig. WTF is wrong with me? They say you have to have some mental defect to want to do all this. Totally true. I guess today was a milestone, much like my first arrest or finishing FTO. Today I realized that the job is truly a lifestyle and not something easily forgotten on my days off. I've been a part of some crazy stuff, and none of it has really bothered me. In fact, it's almost a surreal feeling knowing that someone's life is forever changed and that you are a part of it, either for better or worse in their eyes. It seems odd that I feel normal walking around with an AR slung looking for some miscreants. I have also come to truly understand the brotherhood. Without knowing it, my brothers and sisters have rallied around each other when it drops. It is an honor to work with the crew I work with. Through the good and bad we are a formidable wrecking crew. I for one am glad that most folks don't see and deal with some of the crap we deal with every day. On the flip side, I think it is a travesty that the public doesn't see some of the comedy gold that I have seen. It is an oddity to me that I have run Mach 3 to reports of shots fired and it doesn't bother me, but 3 hours later something minor somehow sticks with me the rest of the rotation. Like the billiard balls in the street from a somewhat humerous disturbance. This certainly isn't some woe is me type post. I'm feeling great, life is good. I guess, more than anything I've taken a tiny step from being just another rookie to becoming a cop. I've also come to appreciate the incredible importance of being normal as possible on the days off. I purposely don't even look at my work gear until the night before. Work stays at work and does not come into my home, unless it's an awesome funny story. Even those are kept in check. Anyway, thanks for listening. Time to go back to the normal life until next week! /crazy Wanna kill these ads? We can help!