I have seen the articles all over the media from both sides about the Thin Blue Line.
Some depict law enforcement officers as racists, bigots, and haters who only believe in violence.
Others tell stories of proud officers who lost their lives while taking care of the communities they have sworn to protect and serve.
As the wife of an 18-year Phoenix PD Homicide Detective, here is what I know.
My husband served his country proudly during his five years in the United States Marine Corps.
He has left the comfort of his bed many nights to take care of someone else’s family at the worst moments in their lives.
His shirt has been drenched in the tears of loved ones who have lost sons, daughters, parents, friends. He has seen the worst of humanity as he stood over the broken bodies of small children and babies ― lives stolen to early from senseless violence.
My husband has shed tears over the horrors he has seen. He has woken up many times during the night in a cold sweat from the terrors he has witnessed.
This man has buried his colleagues/friends who were killed in the line of duty.
This is a man who has missed countless special family events and holidays because he was called out to the scene of another senseless death, but still he is always there for his family and friends to help them and take care of them.
I have watched him come home after working a scene for more than 24-hours, collapse into a deep sleep only to be called back out to another scene three hours later.
I have also watched him carry his sick daughter to bed, spend countless hours helping her with homework, and cheer her on in everything she has participated in. I’ve seen him so exhausted he can barely keep his eyes open, but he still finds the strength to listen and smile as his little girl rambles on about her day at school.
My husband has been beaten and broken, both mentally and physically because he chose to be a police officer. He has been battered, bruised, verbally and physically assaulted, disrespected, and spit on.
But he pushes forward day after day, year after year, because he believes in his service and that he can make a difference. I know he does. He has the greatest strength of character of any person I know, and I could not be prouder of him. I am honored to be his wife.
Like every profession, there are the good ones and the bad ones. Unfortunately, the few bad ones get all the publicity and their behavior reflects on all the good ones. And they are the ones who pay the price.
My husband works long hours and is on call every four days because the department is so short-staffed. He has not had a raise in the last 10 years and still, he and his fellow officers, they proudly serve their communities and keep us safe.
The sacrifices they make deserve and demand respect.
May God bless all our officers and bring them home safely to their families so that they may protect yours another day!
Guest Author: Angela L. Staeheli