The Sound of Velcro

According to Wikipedia, the definition of Velcro is as follows: “Hook-and-loop fasteners, hook-and-pile fasteners, or touch fasteners (colloquially known as Velcro after a company that produces them) consist of two components: typically, two lineal fabric strips (or, alternatively, round “dots” or squares) which are attached (sewn or otherwise adhered) to the opposing surfaces to be fastened.”

To law enforcement officers and the families that love them it is so much more. The attachment of Velcro on their ballistic vest is the sound of a safety net that officers put on before each shift and the glorious sound that spouses hear when their husbands or wives come home each night. It is the sound of safety, it is the sound of calm, it is the sound that reminds them nightly how much they love their spouses and are happy they are home.


As an active duty police officer, I often took the sound for granted. To me, it simply meant going to work again and then being able to get out of it as soon as possible at the end of my shift. But listening to spouses who are married to officers from my department and to others around the country, I have changed my perspective and learned how truly memorable that sound is. It is the promise of another chance, another anniversary, another birthday, and another Valentine’s Day.


It is the sound that many spouses long to hear one more time but can’t. And while it may seem small to us, it is everything to them.

One wife described it as such; “Velcro is silent and somber when being put on, reflecting my mood as a police spouse as my husband gets ready for work. Velcro is loud and pronounced when being taken off, again reflecting my mood when my husband safely returns from work.”

Seattle robbery suspects

Seattle PD reports this ballistic vest prevented an officer from being more seriously injured in a shooting April 23, 2017. (Courtesy of Seattle PD)

I’ve learned that it is everything to them so wear your vest every shift and make sure you are extra loud and proud when taking it off. You should celebrate your life and your ability to go home every time you take it off just like your family does.

Cathy & Javier Bustos are law enforcement officers in Central Texas. As “That Peer Support Couple” they are strong peer support advocates speaking about surviving critical incidents and marriage. … They can be reached at: [email protected]