A Cop’s Night Before Christmas


A Cop’s Night Before Christmas


Twas the night before Christmas

And all through my beat

The snow came down heavy, turning to sleet

My thoughts were at home with my wife and my kids

While surrounded I was by junkies and skids


Fortunately, air on the radio was slow

The cause? Perhaps an event two thousand years ago

A child was born, he split time in half

He grew up and died for my sins and my gaffes

His promise was peace and joy to men of good will

Yet my work moves me to be cynical still


Then, I recalled a part of the story.

It took the thugs that He saved to show up His glory

The scoundrels, the thieves, the hookers and traitors, the liars, deniers, the lugs and naysayers, the drunks and the lowly, the sick and infirm

He cared for them all, none did He spurn

The question was not “What do you earn?” but are you willing to change and My message, to learn

It was really quite simple; love one another- remember my child that all are your brother


So when I claim to be Christian, do I know what it means?

It suggests I am keeper of crackheads and thieves; I protect others from them and them from themselves and stand on the line between heaven and hell

Love the transgressor and hate the behavior

I swore to defend the poor and the sick, for them all year round I resemble St. Nick

Those that I view with disdain and askance, I must treat them most fairly to give justice a chance


And I wonder this night, am I up to this task?

Am I humble enough for the grace that I ask?

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”


Thomas Cline, MBA, MAP, 50-years in law enforcement is past president of the International Association of Ethics Trainers, LETT board member, a writer/trainer at the Chicago PD, and a consultant. He’s authored Cop Tales! (Never Spit in a Man’s Face…Unless His Mustache is on Fire) and Psych Firefight – L E Job Satisfaction in a hostile environment. For information on training and workshops Email:[email protected] 

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