Friday, September 25, 2009
The icing on the cake for the evening was definitely in the tazer videos we watched.
We watched my hubby get tazed alongside a few others (he looks like such a dork and he was SO proud of the drops of blood on his shirt from the tazer prongs. He wouldn't let me wash the shirt for a month!)
Then we watched the other cop wives hubbies:
I tell you what, even if you don't know the blokes, this is FUNNY!
Now, I've never been tazered before and don't have it on my list of sadistic things to do before I die, so I can't comprehend the pain that is involved. That said, it is hilarious to watch as a pain-free bystander grown, gruff men flail around like fishies out of water or wail like little school girls.
Ah, the joys of living in an LEO world!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Big Daddy had to leave early today to go to the shooting range. No biggie, pretty typical. I picked up daughter from ballet, made a lazy mama dinner (shells and cheese with some salsa mixed in... quite good to be honest... and hominy on the side), taught a piano lesson while the kids played outside with the kittens BD got us (don't ask). Then I worked out (I am in love with Shredding!), put 2 out of three kids to bed. Tossed the baby into a hot bubble bath with me, got him to sleep and in his crib as opposed to my bed (miracles happen, lol). Then I got to play online.
Why do I tell you all that? Because tonight as I was perusing facebook and some friends blogs, some were talking about having to do all those things on their own here and there and were talking about how hard it is and all that and I surprised myself by realizing that I'm so used to it that it seems odd to NOT do all that on my own!
And, that I'm cool with it and even enjoy it to a degree!
I like being the boss of when bedtime is, how kids get put down, what I cook for dinner and when, how I run the house. I love BD and am so happy when he is home, but I really do enjoy having my space to do my thing with the house. As long as the man is fed, has clean clothes and the occasional snuggle, he pretty much leaves me to run the show. For a short bossy woman, this is pretty ideal.
He got back from the range an hour ago. I had a plate waiting for him. I got to sit and chat with him about how great he shot out at the range. Then he had to get cleaned up and off to patrol for the rest of the night. But, it was nice to chat for a few, get him fed and see him off.
Just as he walked out the door, the baby woke up.
Just a typical night around here... and I think it is pretty great.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This gal from the hood here came by with her son. I think he is about 10 and he has some form of autism I believe along with a few other disabilities. He is a cute kid and she is my kind of mama... blunt and out there and down to earth. Love it.
Anyhow, her boy loves cops. I mean LOVES them. So, BD showed up while there were here and he followed him around the entire time and it was so stinkin' adorable.
It makes me feel good to see BD take so well to a kid who obviously thinks he is a rock star and it tickles me that there are people out there who let their kids love cops they way they should.
That was a favorite moment for me.
BD and I spent the day mad at each other because he says it is against policy and we have to take the sign down.
It prolly would have ended there if he hadn't yelled it at me, which never sits well with me.
So, I've dug in my heels and demanded to see the policy.
I say everyone can deal it is my house too and I have a right to post a sign on my lawn.
I admit I am being stubborn, but I am really having a rough time with being censored so much by a job that isn't mine!
I will add that I am extra pissy because BD didn't mention to me that he was working tonight until, um, late last night and I missed a girls weekend (that I was going to come up to today for an hour or so), a hair appointment AND my police wives get together that were all scheduled back to back today because this was the only day open for me to have a little down time. And of course I asked for a double checking of the schedule so I wouldn't have this happen (it has happened before to me) and was told to quit being a nag... this is not my favorite day.
I love the guy so much, but the job is infuriating me!
So, do I not have the right to post signs?
Does his job have the right to control such things?
And can someone give the man a calender so I can get a friggin' haircut?
Rant over. For now...
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Now I realize that not everyone reading this blog is the same religion as me and I completely respect that. But I thought some of the sentiments from this article would benefit any leo or leo family.
Here is the link.
And here is the article if you don't want to click over.
William A. Meeks, “Officer of the Peace,” Ensign, Feb 1994, 32
I heard the call over the police car radio and rushed to the scene. A vehicle had left the roadway and rolled several times, the dispassionate voice reported. A passenger had been ejected, and the car had rolled over the top of him.
When I arrived at the accident site, I held a dying sixteen-year-old in my arms as he struggled for his last breaths. It was a moment I’ll never forget, a moment of trauma and sorrow. I later found out that the young man, a Latter-day Saint, had refused to drink with his friends. The accident occurred on his way home. I have spent a lot of time thinking about that accident—the first I ever responded to as a police officer.
Many Latter-day Saints hope to make their mark in an occupation that daily draws upon their character and spirituality. I am one of them. I have been a police officer for fourteen years and have served in narcotics, vice, child abuse, traffic, community relations, and patrol divisions. I have found myself in some unimaginable situations. I have held the dying, cried with the abused, visited broken homes, and watched the destruction caused by drugs and alcohol. I have even been a victim of violence myself.
I deal daily with greed, envy, hatred, racial prejudice, profanity, lust, and all manner of emotions that spawn unmentionable tales of human tragedy. The environment I operate in is one of suspicion, defensiveness, accusation, and pessimism. It is not difficult to see the effects of these powerful forces on the lives of those who work all around me.
During his earthly ministry, the Savior counseled his disciples that they would “have tribulation” in the world. (John 16:33.) Instead of warning them to avoid the wickedness of the world, Jesus directed his beloved followers to function in the world, but to be “not of the world.” (John 17:14.)
Knowing full well that there were many difficulties ahead, Jesus sent his disciples into a world rife with all manner of iniquity. He told them to pray for those who hated them, to give their coat to those who sued them, to go the extra mile with one who used them, to turn the unstruck cheek to one who struck them. Further, he asked them to confront devils, cast out demons, visit the leper, heal the maimed, put away prejudice, comfort the dying, and, indeed, follow in his example of love and service.
I have often wondered about some of the thoughts of the early Apostles as they received these instructions. Knowing how wicked the world was, they were still able to put aside their fears and serve their fellowman as the storms of the wicked raged against them. Their “occupation” was to be completely submissive to the will and the work of their Father in Heaven and to help “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.)
I take great comfort and counsel by studying the examples of these devoted disciples and by comparing my situation to theirs.
Many others have noted that the environment of law enforcement can challenge spiritual growth. When I have occasion to speak to Latter-day Saints about these things, I am always asked: How do you deal with it?
Admittedly, I have sometimes asked myself the same question. I always come back to the positive aspects of what I do and to the perspective I gain from the experiences I have. This perspective did not come easily. The real test—and growth—come for me as I am able to discern when I’m in one of the low valleys and to use specific methods to recover spiritually from what could be destructive to my soul. I feel there are six key principles that have helped me deal with my spiritual challenges.
I was shaken by that experience of my first call to assist at the site of an automobile accident. Shortly thereafter, I was called to the scene of a second car accident. A baby-sitter had lost control of her truck, overcorrected, and rolled the vehicle. Normally this would not be too serious, but riding in the back of the truck were three small children, each one from a different family. Two were killed instantly, and the third would never be able to have a normal life. One of the victims was a two-year-old boy just slightly older than my young son.
After we had completed our necessary responsibilities, I drove home with tears in my eyes, rushed to my son, and held him closely as I thought of another Father in the eternities holding the small accident victim I had just seen.
Perspective regarding why we are here, where we came from, and where we may go after this life is crucial in my ability to deal with the world around me. I view the world as a constant struggle waged by the adversary against righteousness as he fights to “destroy the agency of man.” (Moses 4:3.)
One of the occasions used by the adversary to destroy agency is tragedy. I have observed countless tragic incidents that have drastically altered the lives of those involved. I see people without a firm grasp on the perspective of eternal families and the plan that makes this possible; these people struggle and falter, grasping for an explanation of the difficult question, “Why?” Seeing this in the lives of others allows me the third-person perspective necessary to hold my family closer together and cleave to the covenants I have made with my Father in Heaven. In doing so, I set as a first priority the spiritual life of my family and myself.
Obtain Spiritual Nourishment
Having a career in this environment allows me to see the effects of the world on those who are without the gospel plan. In the Book of Mormon, Alma attempts to describe to his son Corianton the horrible judgments that await those whom he refers to as people who are in a “carnal state … and in the bonds of iniquity … [and] are without God in the world.” (Alma 41:11.)
Visiting homes torn apart by domestic violence and abuse and seeing the powerful effects of a lifestyle without gospel direction stir me to action to preserve my spirituality by drawing close to the mainstream of gospel activity.
It is very important to me to hold a Church calling. My recent assignment as Gospel Doctrine instructor motivated me to a regular plan of scripture study, which I feel is crucial in my quest for spiritual nourishment. Also, attending my weekly meetings is invaluable as I strive to be a part of the fellowship of the Saints in my ward. Fulfilling my home teaching assignments allows me to serve people in a voluntary way, as opposed to the mandatory nature of my professional service. And temple attendance heals the wounds inflicted upon me by the world in which I work.
All these things are very important underlying principles, but as important as they are, the single most important factor for me in obtaining spiritual nourishment is involvement with my family. Operating as the patriarch of my home, within the guidelines established by the Lord, gives me the conviction that as our Father in Heaven finds great joy in bringing to pass our salvation (see Moses 1:39), likewise my greatest joy lies in working with my wife to teach and assist our children. Regular family home evening, family prayer, family scripture study, and activities with the people I love allow me to recover from seeing the effects of a “world without God.” At its most basic level, a world without God is a world without love.
This world without love manifested itself to me in a stark and dramatic incident one night. While on motorcycle patrol, I happened upon a woman crouched on the edge of a 300-foot-high bridge. She threatened suicide, repeating the simple phrase: “My children don’t love me! My children don’t love me!” After a few minutes of failed negotiating, I watched helplessly as the woman jumped from the safety of the bridge to her death in the dark waters below. Never before had I seen such a tragic and intimate display of the effects of being without love.
Part of being spiritually nourished is being nourished by love within the family. Once nourished by this love, we can begin to operate in the world with spiritual confidence.
Seek Wholesome Associations
My profession is one that consistently appears at the top of lists of careers that put people at risk for divorce, alcoholism, and suicide. Studies have shown that police officers run increased risk of developing digestive-tract cancer and other serious illnesses. (See J. M. Violante et al., “Disease Risk and Mortality among Police Officers,” Journal of Police Science and Administration, Mar. 1986, pp. 17–23.) In examining the situations I have often found myself in, I understand why some police officers often become embittered, depressed, and cynical. Without positive relationships, it is difficult to remove oneself from this destructive cycle.
In an interview with a Church leader, I was counseled to cultivate positive, uplifting associations outside my profession.
“Persons in this kind of occupation make a great mistake if they associate only with professional friends, because then they are always in the environment that reminds them of these kinds of things,” this wise man told me. “Associate with people who remind you that in the world out there, there are people who are not on drugs; there are people who stand for the values not evident in the behavior of some of the people you have to deal with professionally. You need to associate yourself with the majority, the mainstream of reality.”
I have paid special attention to that counsel and have found many friends in my neighborhood, ward, and community. This is not to say that I completely shun friendships with those who work in law enforcement. Some of my dearest friends are my colleagues, people that I rely on and enjoy both during work and off duty.
I have also found it very valuable to associate with others in my profession with whom I have strong ties of common belief. Recently another Latter-day Saint officer in my department was at the scene of a crime and was forced to shoot at a man who pulled a gun on him. When he returned to the station to face the grueling review ordeal, he first sought me out for a priesthood blessing to clear his head and prepare himself. Proper associations on and off the job can be both uplifting and strengthening.
Be a Good Judge without Being Judgmental
I take special precautions and wear special equipment to protect myself from the physical dangers of police work. However, one of the greatest threats I face is much harder to protect myself against. The constant danger I face in my day-to-day work is that of becoming judgmental, which in police work usually involves stereotyping and suspicion. Everyone becomes a “suspect,” and a fatal confrontation may be just around the next corner.
Sometimes viewing only a particular segment of society on a daily basis can blur the reality of the entire community. This destructive process can become a problem for anyone—but it’s all too common in my profession.
The Savior’s counsel to us was to “judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24.) In the Book of Mormon, it is apparent that a form of racial and religious hatred was an underlying motivation for war and persecution. It is a delicate thing to hate the sin but love the sinner, but our proper judgment must be based on actions. We must leave the final judgment of the heart to him who knows every intent and desire of the heart—even Jesus Christ. Also, we must apply stringent judgment to ourselves and not yield to petty prejudice and bigotry when assessing others.
Recently, while attending a police management course in Los Angeles, I experienced a great teaching moment as I relearned this eternal principle. Every day I would drive through south central LA en route to the University of Southern California campus, where the course was taught. This was a few months before the historic 1992 riots that occurred there. I viewed that diverse community from my negative “police perspective” and saw no good.
Near the end of my stay, I attended the Los Angeles Temple and was in a session made up predominantly of minority members. My eyes were opened instantly. In the house of the Lord, there was no inequality, there was no hatred, and there were no prejudices. When the eyes of the world were peeled away, I saw only children of our Heavenly Father and Latter-day Saints who were truly my brothers and sisters. Now I understand how the righteous few can bless an entire community.
I am a firm believer in the axiom: My worst day golfing is always better than my best day at work. Golf is just one of the many stress-relieving activities that uplift and relax me—activities that are crucial in my ability to deal with my career. We need to select activities for enjoyment, activities based on our individual talents and interests. Such hobbies and interests are vital to maintaining our mental and physical health.
Besides golf, I find outlets in the activities of my family—riding dirt bikes, fishing, going to movies, working together around the house, spending one-on-one time with my children, going on dates with my wife. These activities, the temporal counterpart to spiritual renewal, provide refreshment and a positive outlook.
The Prophet Joseph Smith was once criticized for his leisure activities and game playing.
“He said it tried some of the pious folks to see him play ball with the boys. He then related a story of a certain prophet who was sitting under the shade of a tree amusing himself in some way, when a hunter came along with his bow and arrow, and reproved him. The prophet asked him if he kept his bow strung up all the time. The hunter answered that he did not. The prophet asked why, and he said it would lose its elasticity if he did. The prophet said it was just so with his mind, he did not want it strung up all the time.” (Juvenile Instructor, Aug. 1892, p. 472.)
Recognize Your Value to Society
When I face the greatest challenge, view the worst tragedy, become the focus of anger, and feel the most rejected, I am drawn to the example of the Savior, who endured and saw far worse than I ever have. I feel certain that when I respond in a positive manner to my challenges, my career can lead me toward spiritual maturity. I know that through performing my responsibilities and acting in a manner that displays true gospel concern while never compromising my sworn duty to enforce laws, I can be of value to my community and to those with whom I associate. A feeling of being valued balances many negative aspects of my profession.
Equally important is valuing those people with whom we work, even if we do not share the same vision or plan of life. In reality, we are all children of Heavenly Father, and we must see each other in this light.
The most intimate account of how the Lord feels about his lost children, or as the scripture refers to them, the “residue of the people,” is found in Moses, chapter 7. Enoch records that the Lord weeps as he looks upon his people.
Enoch asks: “How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?” (Moses 7:29.)
The Lord answers: ”Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
“And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood.” (Moses 7:32–33.)
I love to read scriptures that testify that even though the Lord sees the violence and recognizes the great wickedness of his people, he still weeps for them, cares for them, and loves them. I also believe that when he looks down and weeps for his children, he sees us who work with them.
While my job is spiritually, emotionally, and physically challenging, it is not without its many, many rewards. Acts of love and unselfishness pop up in the most unexpected places, from the most unexpected sources. Long ago I concluded that how I respond to the challenges I find within the work of law enforcement may in great measure shape my eternal nature. It’s an exciting and great challenge—to recognize wickedness and violence and still love and serve my fellowman.
[photo] Photo by Craig Dimond
[photos] Inset photography by Craig Dimond and posed by models
[photo] Background photo by Don M. Grayston, Deseret News.
[photo] Background photo by O. Wallace Kasteler, Deseret News
[photo] Background photo courtesy of Deseret News
William A. Meeks serves as the second counselor in the bishopric of the Gig Harbor Second Ward, Tacoma Washington Stake.
And another article I liked. No matter their faith, I believe all officers are inspired at times while they are saving others.
Richard A. Dove, “‘Turn Here!’,” Ensign, Feb 2001, 35
I wondered if my efforts as a police officer were worth it—until the night I found myself an answer to someone’s prayer.
The roll call was no different from any other I’d experienced in my five years as an officer with the Houston Police Department. Our sergeant, a 20-year police veteran with the scars on his hands to prove it, methodically droned out the roll call, giving us our beats and assignments for the evening.
“Hauck and Dove: 1B23.” My partner Frank’s last name was supposed to be pronounced “How-k,” but the sergeant always pronounced it “Hawk.” That was probably why he had put us together 11 months before—so he could smile every time he thought of a hawk and a dove being in the same car.
After the usual exchange of information, roll call ended. We moved slowly, putting our gear in the patrol car, checking the equipment, and starting up the engine. No one was ever anxious to go out on the street too quickly.
The evening shift began with the usual backlog of calls from day shift. It looked like just another routine day—handling a family disturbance, writing up a few traffic tickets, putting a youth in jail for attacking his teacher, and arresting some teens for drag racing.
“Just two more hours and we can go home,” Frank said, looking at his watch. “Man, will I be glad!”
I didn’t say much in response; my thoughts were more focused on other things. I wondered why I had chosen to be a police officer. The Church emphasizes the value of a positive environment and of uplifting thoughts and actions. Out here on the street, everything seemed so negative. The ravages of Satan’s influence were visible at every call, whether the tools of destruction were alcohol, drugs, pride, sexual immorality, greed, or just plain brutality.
Tonight was one of those times when I wondered if the Lord even knew I was here, trying to remain untainted while wading through so much human misery. I wondered if all my efforts against such odds were really worth it. What use could Father in Heaven possibly have of me?
The scratchy voice of the dispatcher crackled over the radio, interrupting my thoughts: “1B23, stolen auto, Northwest Mall in front of Foleys.”
Frank quickly answered, “1B23 received and en route.”
As I turned the patrol car around and headed toward Northwest Mall, the dispatcher came back. “1B23, I now have your call as a kidnapping of a child, code one.”
“1B23 received code one en route at 1923 hours.” Frank shoved the mike into the holder and flipped on the red lights and siren. Luckily there wasn’t much traffic as we sped toward our call. We could see the huge outline of the mall in the distance when a fellow officer’s voice squawked on the radio, “1B36, I’ve arrived at the kidnapping call; you can disregard, 1B23.”
“Clear, 1B36, I have you arrived,” said the dispatcher.
“1B23 received.” Frank put the mike back onto the dash. We shut off the red lights and siren and slowed down to normal speed. Frank talked on for a few minutes until 1B36 came back on the air, talking to the dispatcher.
“This is 1B36, are you clear for a GB [general broadcast]?”
“Go ahead, 1B36,” the dispatcher quickly answered.
“About 10 minutes ago the suspect left north on Hempstead in the stolen car—a blue Ford LTD, Texas license NJN 479.”
Frank and I looked at each other with the same thought: We must have passed the suspect. Before we could react, the dispatcher returned to the air: “Attention all units, I have additional information on the kidnapping from Northwest Mall. The suspect just called police and said he abandoned the car with an infant in it in the 12000 block of Hempstead.”
I grabbed the mike this time: “1B23, we’re on top of that location; we’ll check it out.”
Frank said, “I bet he didn’t even notice the kid at first. He must’ve had a heart attack sitting there staring at 20 years in the cage.” Frank and I commented on what must have been a startling discovery for a thief who thought he was stealing just a car.
We arrived at the location to find an intersection with two gas stations and no stolen car. We advised the dispatcher of our arrival and said we could not find the suspect vehicle. We began searching the surrounding area on foot, going up and down the narrow side streets and alleys. Other police units joined in our search, but to no avail.
After about half an hour, we still had found nothing. 1B36 had shown up with the hysterical mother, who ran between houses calling her baby’s name. It was now obvious that the thief either was playing a cruel hoax or had gotten the location wrong.
As we returned to our patrol car, I looked over my shoulder. In the quiet darkness I saw the mother kneeling on the wet ground, pouring her heart out to Heavenly Father, begging for His help in finding her lost child.
Frank noticed her too and said, “I wonder what makes her think God cares what’s happening here.”
I didn’t respond, but a dark thought streaked through my mind: Why would He care about what’s happening right here at this very minute?
I shivered and tried to shake the thought from my head. I muttered, “He must care; He has to care.”
“What did you say?” Frank asked.
“Nothing, just talking to myself,” I replied. Blushing, I turned to get back into the patrol car. While on duty, I didn’t feel it was appropriate to bring up personal things such as religious beliefs unless I was asked to.
Riding along, we didn’t say anything for the first few minutes. My mind raced with the silent thought: Thank goodness it wasn’t my son. We drove for about 10 minutes without saying a word; even the radio was quiet.
Then suddenly the words Turn here! burst into my mind. I quickly obeyed and turned onto the only street I could.
“What’s up?” asked Frank.
I stared down the street, pointed, and said with confidence, “The child is down this street!”
Frank didn’t question me. “Let’s take a look.”
We started slowly looking with spotlights in every driveway and between every house. Then came the calm but urgent impression that I must hurry.
I stepped on the gas pedal, causing the car to lurch forward. “What are you doing?” Frank exclaimed. “Did you see something?”
I didn’t answer. I couldn’t. As the police car picked up speed, I knew we were getting closer to the child. Then another distinct impression came that the child was nearby. I immediately turned onto a driveway leading between two warehouses and we began to spin slightly. As I regained control of the police car, I turned into a parking lot enclosed on all sides by warehouses.
We both saw the car at the same time.
“There it is!” we shouted. Before our car had even stopped moving, I shifted it into park and leaped out, Frank right behind me.
The baby lay motionless in a car seat in the back. He was a sickly blue color. The car had been left running, and the exhaust fumes hung heavily around the car. We both knew he was being suffocated by the fumes.
The thief had locked all the doors, so Frank ran back to the patrol car and told the dispatcher what we had discovered. The dispatcher answered that an ambulance and wrecker were en route. But there was no time to wait.
I wedged my fingers between the top of one of the glass windows and the door frame and, saying a prayer, yanked on the glass as hard as I could. The glass shattered. Quickly unlocking and opening the door, I snatched the baby from the backseat. I was already beginning to feel dizzy from the fumes as I held the child up toward the light. I could see he was barely breathing. Then, with a gasp, the baby sucked in fresh air, and his color began to change to a rosy pink.
Frank and I stood there looking at the crying infant for a moment—just glad he was alive.
The sound of the approaching ambulance siren was reassuring. Soon a team of emergency medical technicians was examining the baby. Another police car came screeching up with the mother in the backseat. She raced from the car to the ambulance and wept with joy upon seeing her baby alive.
I looked back at the stolen vehicle that had almost become a tomb and was surprised when my flashlight reflected off a bumper sticker that read, “Happiness is family home evening.”
I imagined the boy taking his first steps, riding his first bicycle, attending seminary, graduating from high school, serving a mission—and I imagined the mother whispering a prayer for two policemen who, on a cold, rainy night in November, snatched her boy from certain death.
Frank looked at me and asked, “How did you know the baby was here? I couldn’t even tell there was a parking lot behind this building.” I didn’t answer Frank then, but his persistent questions would later lead to discussions on many spiritual things.
As we headed back to the station to end the night, my thoughts turned to the words that had so clearly guided me to the lost infant. I then began to truly feel that Heavenly Father cares deeply about what happens to each of us. And I realized that Heavenly Father is aware of me and my efforts in my work. It was a lesson I will never forget.
[illustrations] Illustrated by Gerald Rogers