Being a spouse of a law enforcement officer (LEO) can be very challenging. I speak as a law enforcement officer wife (LEOW), however, a lot of males married to an LEO will be able to relate. I feel the dynamic in which they relate may not be quite the same. Some females tend to be emotional and drown their worries in ice cream or talking to another LEOW. Many men are more of the silent, action-oriented types.
I am a 911 dispatcher married to an LEO. You could say that I know all the trials and tribulations associated with the law. On a daily basis, I face many challenges that most spouses face with a few “extras” thrown in the mix.
Being a spouse (although I speak as a LEOW this is true for all spouses), is full of what ’ifs’, from “What if my husband misses dinner tonight? ” to “What if he doesn’t make it to our son’s ball game?” to “What if he doesn’t come home at all?”.
When I first married my hero, I truly believed that I was prepared for the lifestyle from being a dispatcher in the same department. However, nothing could have prepared me for the challenges ahead . I have worked alongside him as a dispatcher, always fearing the radio call in which I might have to send him aid while he lies alone on the side of the road, Nonetheless, these were the roles we had when we met; I was a dispatcher and he was an LEO.
I didn’t realize that I would face many nights alone with the fear of losing my love to the darkness that surrounds law enforcement. This lifestyle that we call law enforcement is something that my husband and I both love and understand. I know that other wives must have the same fears that I have. I want to do my part to make Arkansas Law Enforcement better and easier for all wives to deal with.
I did an online search for law enforcement support groups and found the Wives Behind the Badge, Inc. Forum. I quickly joined because I loved the support and happiness I saw. In the event that my fear of losing him is sadly realized, I will have more support from these wonderful ladies than I could ever imagine.
These ladies have become a part of me from the moment I joined the support forums a little over a year ago. They have become closer to me as I became Director for the Arkansas Auxiliary. I am always depending on their talents and advice to bring me through. . My husband has supported me in every step as a director just as I support him every day from behind the badge. These women have become more than another LEOW to me; they have become my sisters in blue. The support has made me become a better wife and mother. I so am happy to be supporting something that is so near and dear to both my husband and me.
Life for any wife and mother can be difficult whether it’s working or making a home for your family. When you add hectic work schedules, long hours, emotional stress, relatively low wages, and the constant underlying fear of losing the one you love, it can be almost an unbearable level of pressure. Some women are equipped to be the special breed of Wives Behind the Badge or a law enforcement wife. We are the ones who take heart in our relationships to make the lifestyle work for us.
Being a law enforcement spouse will always be full of challenges, lack of support, mixed emotions, but can be very rewarding with the right support. This lifestyle can be stressful and scary, but you don’t have to face it alone, not if you have the right women to help you along your path. Arkansas Law Enforcement is no different. Although the pay is often lower than in other parts of the country, it is a rewarding and beautiful lifestyle.
I wouldn’t have my LEO doing anything other than this line of work. Quite honestly, he would be miserable. This lifestyle becomes a part of your personal identity. Support and a helping hand are crucial to being happy in the law enforcement way of life. That’s where Wives Behind the Badge steps in to help support you in the law enforcement family.
Wives Behind the Badge is there no matter how little the incident or how large…maybe just a shoulder to lean on. Wives Behind the Badge, Inc. is a nationwide and global organization, having auxiliaries in most states and a few countries. Joining your state’s auxiliary is easy. If you would like to learn more about Wives Behind the Badge visit our website at http://www.wivesbehindthebadge.org. If you would like to find out if
there is an auxiliary in your area email us at:
Niki Tallent married to her LEO James Tallent reside in Arkansas with their 5 sons and three dogs. Niki is a 911 operator/dispatcher and her husband James a Sgt and K9 handler of K9 Nate. Niki went to Lakeside High School and soon started working as a dispatcher after her first son was born. Niki became Director for Arkansas Wives Behind the Badge Auxiliary after wanting to support LE even more. She joined Wives Behind the Badge Arkansas Auxiliary in March of this year, trying to find my place to help impact Arkansas LEOWs. In September She took over as Director of Arkansas Wives Behind the Badge after talking it through with my husband, whom at first was skeptical of the workload involved. The support for me from other LEOWs was absolutely amazing.