More off-duty

Cops, by nature, want to help. Sometimes that drive can cause unforeseen problems.

Last year, Marin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Mathiesen was killed while trying to help out a friend of the family. The circumstances are beyond tragic. Mathiesen was off duty when he received a call from a friend who received death threats from an ex-boyfriend. The ex showed up shortly after Mathiesen arrived and killed the unarmed deputy. The link to the news story: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Off-duty-Marin-deputy-killed-trying-to-help-friend-2353962.php#next   

It’s common knowledge that domestic disputes are the most volatile of all calls for service. Whether you know the involved parties is irrelevant. Officer Vilho Ahola of Petaluma (California) Police Department  could attest to this–if he was alive. On November 7, 1969, he responded to a domestic between a couple he called friends. He was shot in the neck and rendered a quadriplegic until in death in 1998. Read his story on the Officer Down Memorial Page: http://www.odmp.org/agency/3091-petaluma-police-department-california

Back to how civilians react to cops in social situations. At parties that aren’t “cop parties”, most law enforcement people I know, offer another profession when asked. I’ve heard cops call themselves trash collectors, personnel specialists and even rocket scientists. This is to avoid the coffee shop scenario described above.

It has been many years since I dated (thankfully!) but the last thing I want to deal with on a blind date is intrusive questions about what I do for a living. Some people are scared off by law enforcement (ya gotta wonder what they’re hiding!), some are fascinated by it–that’s another post altogether–and some have pre-conceived ideas about the cop personality that don’t allow the freedom to enjoy a new relationship.

I’ll conclude this post with a promise to address more “cop talk” issues for the reader and the writer next week. As always, please feel free to ask questions. I’ll do my best to answer.

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