Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

Too Many Lost This Year

By Thonie Hevron

Too many law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2013. One is too many but thirteen is unfathomable. And we’re only in mid-March.
Patrolman David Ortiz of the El Paso, Tx Police Department End of Watch March 14, 2016Patrolman David Ortiz El Paso Police Department, Texas
Peace Officers Down Memorial Page offers statistic that are difficult to believe. Taken from FBI statistics drawn from every police agency in the US, they are a sobering reminder of the inherent peril in this work. Few men and women can do this job with the alertness and cognition it requires–twenty-four hours a day. Cops are never off duty. Badges and guns may be put away but a warrior mindset must always be present. It’s like a sneaker wave at the beach–nine times out of ten, it’s okay to turn your back, but the tenth wave can kill you.
The effects of a career last a lifetime–PTSD is almost a cliche but honestly, we live with it day in and day out. Every cop, every emergency worker (I know because my husband is a retired fire fighter) has ghosts that will forever haunt us. There is no laying them to rest, closure is an illusion. Turning away has been my coping mechanism–remembering the camaraderie, the sense of accomplishment when an incident went right ( I’ll never forget a hug from an officer and close friend when only he and I–in dispatch–were on duty. He had a particularly dangerous pursuit that ended safely with a solid arrest due to the fact that we both did our jobs well–that hug was a highlight of my career), acknowledging the adrenaline spurt and excitement is satisfying enough.
Standing in the rain directing traffic around flooded streets during two El Nino events, smelling the airborn toxins as I drove up to a burning house, being nervous as hell doing CPR on an old man who fell off a ladder are memories that make me who I am. All of us have these memories and worse–I was a civilian Community Services Officer for seven years before I traded the uniform for  the climate controlled chaos of dispatch. I saw but a small slice of the life on the streets.
Those of you who wear or have worn the badge, get it. Those of you who don’t, count your blessings that there are those people out there who love this job. It can’t be done well if they don’t.
All know this could be their last day, but do it anyway.

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5 comments on “Too Many Lost This Year

  1. donutcountycop
    March 16, 2016

    Well done…and I know all about those hugs, our dispatchers take good care of us and find the edge of their seats pretty quickly while we are in the middle of something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Too Many Lost This Year | Just the Facts, Ma'am

  3. mmgornell
    March 16, 2016

    Agree, well done.

    Like

  4. robinofrockridge
    March 21, 2016

    It is truly tragic how many officers have been killed this year, too.

    Like

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This entry was posted on March 16, 2016 by in Law Enforcement and tagged , , , , , .

Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

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Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Wednesdays. Guest writers Gerry Goldshine, Hal Collier, Melissa Kositzin and sometime Woody Hoke take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve. Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop. --Thonie Hevron

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