Forgive me for throwing some of my personal life out here, but I just had to share. Yesterday evening over dinner my daughters boyfriend (who is a very good kid by the way) expressed his interest in going into Law Enforcement. My daughter quickly jumped in the conversation to express her opinion that she would NEVER want him to be a cop. My wife also quickly backed her up on that. With my daughter having been raised in a "cop family" I was kinda taken back. I thought she would be proud of the fact he had such an interest. I have to say I was. The issue and her statements weighed heavily on my mind and this morning (day off) I e-mailed my wife while she was at work and asked her about her thoughts as my daughters and her reaction had kinda bothered me. This was her response. All I can say is that it dang near brought a tear to my eye. I never really knew they understood so much. So here is to the families of cops who deal with us after we deal with the world we work in. They don't get enough credit. We do spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it. Even if we didn’t talk about it, she is a smart kid and she is a cop’s child…how could she not know and understand these things that most adults never even consider? We know that every time you leave the house, you will be in dangerous situations for the next 12 hours. We try hard not to focus on that, but the thought is always in the back of our minds. We know that in those 12 hours, you will receive many adrenaline dumps and your body will have to process all of the associated chemical reactions. We know that this is a contributing factor to health concerns. We know that your body has to go through many tests daily whether that is sitting in a car for long periods, fighting, running, chasing, and the instant change from one physical response to another. This is hard on anyone’s body. We know that you endure many situations that are so unspeakable that you can not even discuss them with your coworkers, let alone your family, so you deal with them in your nightmares. We know that the world that is presented to you on a daily basis tends to block out the beauty and goodness that exists all around, and leaves you to experience life in a shadow of what it could be if you didn’t know all the gritty details. We know that for 12 hours your mind has to be 100% on alert and the stress / tension of maintaining that constant vigilance is exhausting We know that in many ways, you are sacrificing little bits of yourself; mind, body, and soul every day in order to make one corner of the world a little safer and more bearable for the people there. I am ashamed that we have not made sure that you know how proud we are of you and how honorable we know you and your profession are. We are extremely proud, but knowing what it requires, the sacrifices that have to be made, how could we want that for anyone, or ask it of anyone? The decision to be a police officer, is not just a decision; it is the determination to sacrifice yourself for “the greater good”. Knowing what we know, it feels like a natural response to want to warn someone away from something that they couldn’t possibly understand. Just like warning a child from stepping in the street with oncoming traffic…it’s a reflex to want to protect them from danger. **** and I need to explain our reaction to *** and encourage him to explore and learn all he can before he makes a big decision. If he is serious, maybe he could talk to you a about it. The decision is his to make, but to be fair, if he does make that decision, **** will have to make the decision whether she is willing or able to tackle the role of police officer’s partner. That is also an honorable profession, and one that I find to be very important, but it is not for sissies. Certain professions require that the spouse / partner assume a particular role or eventually the marriage, the profession, or both will crumble. This is a major, life altering topic that should only be addressed with the greatest care and consideration. I hope that explains the wife/daughter reaction and our understanding of and pride in what you do. LOVE YOU!