REFLECTION ON POLICE WEEK, FROM THE FOOD COP
By Beau Murry
It’s National Police Week. Among a half dozen other things, I’m sure.
When I started down this career path, I never imagined the tragedy and turmoil that would come along with it. Had I known what I know now, I’d have picked another road. I’ve accepted that 100 percent. I have a nice cushy office job now, but I feel bad for those who are still out there doing cop shit, running and gunning, and trying to make a difference in a community that shows, at best, indifference in return.
Now, I’ve worked with cops who didn’t deserve a badge and whom I was sure would get me killed in a pinch. Then again, I’ve worked with cops who deserved far better than what the badge could ever give. But this week, I think of the cops who lost everything because of the badge, that to others, may be little more than just a name on a wall. What I’ve learned is that the badge is unbelievably heavy and burdensome no matter the shape. And what I know for certain is that the names of my friends who wore that goddamn badge are far more than just a name on a fucking wall.
I know I shouldn’t, but I find it personally offensive when I meet a rookie or nerd cop who has an obnoxious thirst for the job. After all, how could somebody dare thirst so much for the very job that has caused so much turmoil and sacrifice? Maybe I just became the old dog that I was warned about. Angry and irrelevant. Maybe it’s the natural course of things. Jaded? Sure. Police Week is about remembering those who lost their lives. I’ve been to far too many funerals over the years. I don’t go anymore. Car crashes. Heart attacks. Murder. I’m sick of being sad. So, that’s my choice. Nowadays I try to find personal peace in the midst of chaos.
Sometimes that means closing the blinds and creating a quiet space where I sit alone and try to find some calm.
When I reflect back, it’s not those good stories that come to mind first. It takes purposeful effort to reminisce about the good times. The natural memories are the bullet holes in the bloody squad cars. The little kid who was ripped apart by an angry dog which I’d nearly, and should have, killed a week before. The kid who found their dad hanging in the closet. The twisted wreckage on the highway on Christmas day with presents scattered across the highway. And so on. And so on. And so on.
And so many have it so much worse than I did. I’m still here to bitch about it. Sure, there are good memories. Lots of them, in fact. Lemonade stands. Dancing couples in the street. Protecting people. High fives with the kids. Wearing a polished and ironed uniform because I believed so strongly in what it represented. I always loved protecting people. But mostly, I enjoyed the friendships with, and working alongside, some of the finest men and women I’ve ever met.
Police week is not a week to celebrate. It’s a silent nod in a busy room for the sacrifice made by God’s greatest servants.
To my blue family, I love you all. Minus a half dozen or so shit bags and blue falcons. As for those we’ve lost, I promise I’ll never forget them.