Dear Santa,

I’m writing a wish list to you because I still believe.

I’ve tried to be good this year.  I’ve tried to be a helper to others.

I’ve saved some lives. I’ve also lost some.

I tried hard… I gave it my all.  And while I hope the good will outweigh the bad, please know that I don’t give myself a pass. Those are the stories that keep me up at night.

The couple in the accident. The child in the pool.  The old lady in the crosswalk.

I’m not perfect.  No officer is.  But I hope that when it’s time to be judged, you’ll see what was in my heart.  And with that in mind… I give you my Christmas wish list.

  • A few hours with my wife and children on Christmas morning.  It’s been years since I’ve been able to see the Christmas joy on their faces as they open gifts… because I’m always at work.
  • A holiday bonus.  I work 70 hours a week and my wife busts her butt to take care of the kids… but the furnace is starting to go, the garage door is stuck open and our minivan is all but held together by duct tape.  I’m grateful for the 63-degree temperature we’re able to keep the house at and for our meager meal… but I wish my police salary could help me provide more for my family.  God knows they deserve it.
  • A new vest.  Our department doesn’t issue vests to us… and mine probably should have been replaced five years ago.  I’m scared the one I have will be what results in me not coming home to my family.
  • A change of heart from the media.  They seem to truly believe we are here to hurt and not to help.  They don’t understand us because understanding us would mean headlines that don’t bleed.
  • Patience from my children and protection for their hearts.  For all of their dance recitals and soccer games that I miss.  For all of the holidays I’m not home for.  For all of the family meals I’ll never be there for. Please, don’t let their hearts be hardened.  Help them know I’m doing this because of my love for them.
  • Protection for my wife. Every day, she says goodbye to me… and every day, there’s a chance it will be the last time.  Her sacrifices are those that no woman should have to make… and yet she makes them selflessly every single day.  Please protect her heart and protect our home.
  • Politicians who actually represent us and didn’t use us as disposable political pawns.  Those of us who hold the Thin Blue Line is under attack by those who are more concerned with those who are here illegally than those of us tasked with protecting all Americans.
  • Discernment to know good from evil.  Right from wrong.  To be able to see into the hearts of those around me.
  • Community.  I wish everyone understood we are there for them, regardless of whether they are black or white or Hispanic… gay or straight… Democrat or Republican… Christian or Jew or Muslim or atheist.
  • Training.  Everyone likes to talk about police officers’ mistakes, but our department can’t afford to provide proper and regular training for us. And God knows we can’t afford it on our own.  Please give me training, along with a steady hand.
  • Faith.  In those dark moments when the demons are surrounding me. In those painful times where I can’t see the light.  In those hours where all I can feel are the burdens of my mistakes.  Help me to find the faith in my God and my country and my fellow man.
  • Brotherhood for my department.  We are stressed and overworked and underpaid and fractured and frequently tied by politics vs. policing.  Please don’t let this divide us.  Please help our brotherhood to grow… not be destroyed.
  • Home.  Please, Santa… bring me home safe to my family each and every night.  Please never take me from the very family I’m trying to desperately to provide for and keep safe.
  • For others to believe as well.  Not just in you, Santa – but in America.  In God.  In those who hold the Thin Blue Line.  In our fellow Americans.  And in the idea that together, we can overcome EVERYTHING.

I believe, Santa.  I believe.  I believe.

Sincerely,

Sgt. A. Merica