By T. Lefever
- Body Cameras
If asked this question three years ago, I’d say being recorded all the time would be an immense burden. Yet, with experience came understanding. More and more cops love the body camera. The ability to dispel accusations made against us by those who wish to slander and sabotage is invaluable.
Cops love honesty even when the truth hurts. We expect it from our administration and we appreciate it from the public. Honesty from the administration keeps the morale high in the rank and file and absolutely kills it when it is the other way around. Honesty from a civilian shows us that we’re generally dealing with a decent human being although they may have done something wrong.
- Late Night Restaurants
It has been called everything from midnights to red-eye shift to graveyard watch. Sometimes it can just feel like the Twilight Zone. Nothing is worse for a cop’s taste buds or gut than picking their meals out of the snack aisle of the gas station. Every night owl cop loves to see that neon sign lit up on a 24-hour diner or restaurant and counts on it to keep them going past sunrise.
- Caffeine and Chewing Tobacco
This one may be regional or even generational. I once had an “undercover tactics” class with members from several Southeastern PD’s at the regional training center. At one point I looked out across the classroom to see that eight out of twelve of these guys had a can of Monster and spit cup. I just looked at them and said, “Now that’s a room full of cops if I ever saw one”.
Many veteran officers will say that the brotherhood is gone. While it is true that the fraternity is not what it used to be, I wouldn’t say that it’s completely dead. There remains a tightness that the brothers and sisters in blue share that most people will never be fortunate enough to be part of. I encourage every shift to try and bring back a good old fashioned “choir practice” once in a while.
- Good Supervision
It is not the job itself but the people that determine the value of the experience. Good supervision from the Corporal to the Watch Commander can make the worst day on the job feel like it was worth it. Conversely, bad supervision can make what should have been a great day feel like a grind. Bottom line, genuine leaders with stripes are worth their weight in gold.
- Guardian Angels
Every cop has had a close call. Whether it is a near car accident or a malfunctioning gun in the hand of an evil man, every sheepdog has emerged from a situation at one point in time and thought that someone must be looking out for them. Saint Michael, “The Patron Saint of Law Enforcement”, has saved us all at some point.