Judgment From Those in their Protected Little World
How often have you listened to the “new take” of youth regarding how it should be? How many times have you heard the fast judgment of media echoed by those who have never had a single experience outside their protected little world?
Have you felt the wave of disagreement flow through you, but you held your tongue rather than speak out because it would be at odds with their political correctness?
Who wrote the rules of judgment that we are held to? It is partly our fault. We didn’t let them into the hallowed halls of our profession, so that they could know what we see, what we do.
We protected them. We did a good job. Too good!
Now that the myth is out that we are not invincible, we are being stalked by the same predators of the night we used to stalk ourselves. And they have known some success in their broken-minded endeavors at the cost of far too many souls of brothers and sisters.
We didn’t share the endless line of personal tragedies we did our best to fix with the limited tools we had. We didn’t share the mind dulling experiences of dealing with death scenes; we just dealt with the depression of loss and the helplessness of not being able to succeed in our efforts to win through.
We plowed on through days of patrol missing family functions, events, holidays, and countless dinners. We worked through the blackness of night, at times in all kinds of ugly weather.
We stood by crime or accident scenes, sometimes cold, sometimes wet, often tired, often mind numbed by boredom, and so happy to get that cup of coffee your partner or the Sarge would occasionally bring to you, even though it was barely fit to drink.
We didn’t hesitate to engage in personal combat when engaged by those that were drug or alcohol impaired, angry or bent on violence, yet we did our best to control ourselves in our actions, though it wasn’t always easy.
We were ever vigilant, ever protecting, and ever upright while investigating and enforcing the laws. All of us were touched by the circumstances and plights of the victims and sometimes, the criminals. Yet, an exceptional few of us ever turned our backs and walked away.
Dedication? Sense of right? God’s work, His tool? A calling that could not be refused?
Perhaps all of that. But cops were meant to be cops. Nothing else fit. It left scars that aren’t visible. It burned memories into your mind that you don’t want to share. It tested your resolve and your soul far too often. And you carry it with you everywhere you go, it is always there.
We don’t share it. And today, we have the blind, uninformed society we are living in. We are the enemy to far too many, villainized by the media and organizations using hate as the vehicle to spread their word.
It is definitely a plight for us today. I worry about the new “Badges” hitting the street now. We should share our experiences, our stories, and our insight to the lives we lived on the beat.
Those who hear would see things from a different perspective if they could live vicariously through our memories. If we don’t, a little of what and who we are dies with the passing of each of us, never to be known.
Don’t ignore your legacy. Tell it, write it, and share it, with those that are close to you. Don’t be the unsung hero, because you are hero brothers and sisters. The world needs to know, or others will present it their way.
Kevin Cotroneo has served 36 years in law enforcement, retiring from the California Highway Patrol and Mendocino County Sheriff’s – Coroner’s Office, retiring at the rank of sergeant from both. During that time, he served in such capacities as Highway Interdiction, Officer Involved Shooting Team, Search & Rescue commander, and rangemaster. He has been an instructor for DRE (Drug Recognition Expert), EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), Firearms, Officer Survival, and Community Awareness.
Kevin has kept abreast of the current training and trending events in law enforcement, meanwhile adding to his own training, expertise, and experience as a basis to present you the articles he writes. His goal is to expand awareness, improve survival capabilities, and share trending methods with brother and sister officers. There is always something new to learn and insight to be gained, he is constantly in pursuit of that knowledge.