Retired police department nostalgia

Retired police department nostalgia

This is a discussion on Retired police department nostalgia within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I just got this in an e-mail from an old friend, retired FHP (FL Highway Patrol). He was a major. I figured it would be ...

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Thread: Retired police department nostalgia

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Exclamation Retired police department nostalgia

    I just got this in an e-mail from an old friend, retired FHP (FL Highway Patrol). He was a major. I figured it would be good to post for ALL the LEO's here. My gift to them this 4th of July.
    ************************************************** **

    I retired from Suffolk PD in '89. I was going to send this privately and not post it to the whole group because only "dinosaurs" would appreciate its content. But after seeing how many other list members were near retirement, thought I'd share it.

    Just before retiring, some young puppy was busting my chops about how law enforcement has changed, and the system is improving for the best. I just smiled and gave him a little laugh.

    He asked what was so funny. I told him that I felt sorry for him. When asked why, I told him, "Because in about 15 years, THIS is going to be your good old days."

    We all saw the change in our jobs. I came on in 1970. I used to tell the rookies that our academy lasted 3 months. They gave us a stick, a gun, a dime, and kicked us out into the street. They told us: If you need help, use the dime. If you can't get to a phone, use the stick. If using the stick pisses him off, use the gun.

    And the first order we received when we were assigned to a precinct was from our road sergeant. His order was "Don't you EVER bother me, kid."

    Law enforcement then, was much different than the current mission. We delivered babies, got rough in the alley when we needed to, made "Solomon like" decisions at least once a tour, and often wound up being big brother to the kid we roughed up in that alley a year or so ago. And, for some reason, none of that managed to get on a report. And the department didn't really want to know. All they wanted was numbers, and no ripples in the pond.

    Because of the changing times, and the evolution of law enforcement, the modern young officers will never see that form of policing, and of course this is best. The current way is the right way... now. But it was different then (ergo, the Dinosaur Syndrome).

    When it's time to go, we wonder if we're going to miss the job. After all, other than our kids and a few marriages, it was the most important thing in our lives. Actually, it was the other way around. The job was first, but only another cop could understand how I mean that.

    But have faith, brother! After a short time of feeling completely impudent, (after all, you're just John Q. now), reality hits like a lead weight.

    It's not the job we miss after all. It's what we, as individuals, had accomplished while in this profession that we miss. The challenge of life and death, good and bad, right and wrong, or even simply easing the pain of some poor ******* for a while, someone we will never see again.

    We know the reality of what's happening out there. We are the ones who have spent our entire adult life picking up the pieces of people's broken lives. And the ***** of it all is that no one except us knows what we did out there.

    I was once told that being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

    What I missed mostly, though, were the people I worked with. Most of us came on the job together at the age of 21 or 22. We grew up together. We were family. We went to each others weddings, shared the joy of our children's births, and we mourned the deaths of family members and marriages. We celebrated the good times, and huddled close in the bad.

    We went from rookies who couldn't take our eyes off of the tin number of the old timer we worked with, to dinosaurs.

    After all, what they gave us was just a job. What we made of it was a profession. We fulfilled our mission, and did the impossible each and every day, despite the department and its regulations.

    I think the thing that nags you the most when you first retire is: After you leave the job and remove your armor, the part of you that you tucked away on that shelf for all those years, comes out. It looks at all the things you've hidden away. All the terrible, and all the wonderful things that happened out there. And it asks you the questions that no one will ever answer.

    "Do you think I did OK? Did I make a difference? Was I a good cop?"

    You know what? Yeah, you were a good cop! And you know it!

    In closing;

    The best advice I got, by far, was from an old friend who left the job a few years before me. He told me to stay healthy, work out and watch my diet. He said "Cause that way, the first day of every month you can look in the mirror, smile and say.. Screwed them out of another month's pension!!"

    Be well, my brother!!
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.


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    If I didn't know better......

    Whew!, For a minute there, I thought you were talking about ME!.
    quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  3. #3
    Member Array Night Flight's Avatar
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    Man, I love this. Brings back memories of several of my different jobs, from MP, to Police, to Security. I can relate to the good friends I worked with and the back up we gave each other. Left our problems at work and came home to the family. Great memories and the procedures sure are different now than back in the 60's. Oops telling my age. Thanx for your contribution to the good ole days.

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    Exceptional!

    Safe journeys, Sir, and even though we're a continent apart, I thank you for your years of dedicated service.
    Smitty
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    Yeah, folks. Just remember that although I posted this, I DIDN'T WRITE it! I have carried a badge for a living as a state probation and parole officer but my time was limited to only a year and I specifically did it to get some real time experience for a shot at law school which I did get then didn't finish there. Want to make God chuckle? Tell him YOUR plans for YOUR life..... Thank all you LEOs for your service to this great nation no matter how long you've served. Just don't thank me. I don't deserve it.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Excellent post, while I am retired military instead of LEO so many things you said reminded me of my service. I retired in 1991 and still miss the people I worked and flew with and the people we met and the places we transited.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    You've about said it! The "Thin Blue Line"!
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    Thanks for the post...
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    AMEN ! You did a great job of describing things, and I understood every one of them quite well.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    Thanks for the post. I have two more years before pulling the pin and though I look forward to it I know I will miss the "job" because of the people I served with.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

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    Distinguished Member Array pinklady's Avatar
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    Thanks for a great post.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Der Alte's Avatar
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    Don't really miss it but I can't forget it. Every once in a while something happens or see something in paper that causes memories to come flooding back.:) Thanks for the post.
    Its a shame that youth is wasted on the young.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. I can tell it was indeed written by a real peace officer. I am still on The Job, nearing 27 years, and started at 22 years old. I have outlasted many of my academy classmates, but there are still quite a few of us. Things HAVE indeed changed, and continue to change, while certain concepts and principles, of course, do not change.

    Every Independence Day is a daunting day to work. I work for a big city, which hosts a huge Freedom Festival, and to get to work, I have to leave a couple of hours early, so I can reach the station before throngs of folks heading for the fireworks show totally gridlock everything. Once the shift starts, in addition to the normal daily grind, there will be lost kids, lost oldsters, lost vehicles, and drunks to the nth power, to deal with. Yep, there will be Solomon-like decisions to be made tonight.

    I wonder how many more years I will be doing this. The warrior part of me wants to keep it up forever. The geezer part of me, which gains ground every year, tells me I am too old for this, aged beyond my years. Probably, I will keep it up a few more years, then relent and have my bad knee looked at, repaired if feasible, then see if I can recover enough to keep it up a while longer. (The PD can make me retire if I can't recover within six months.)

    The Job. Independence Day, again. Today is a good day.

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    On this day, Independence Day, GOD BLESS ALL OUR LEOs and TROOPS: Serving, retired and former....
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    I just retired effective June 30th. I have about 8 weeks vacation to run out and then I'm done. Went on the job in October of 1971.
    I count myself nowise weaker in war, or grapple of battle, than Grendel himself. --- The Beowulf Epic

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