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October 18-20, 2013; Bellevue, WA

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cop's Families

Cop’s Families

Before I start down this path, I need to emphasize everyone’s experiences are different.

In my previous post I stated how cops tend to be suspicious.  I received a comment that a Cop's suspicious nature must be tough on the Cop’s family. It’s funny, as with anything, reactions can be on either side of the spectrum.

I remember being told when I started my career in law enforcement, that while in uniform, officers (for the most part) were sharp, keen, intuitive and focused. In essence, the type of person you would want to come when you called for help. However, the same individual that was so confident, controlled and focused ‘on-the-job’ could be a train wreck of epic proportions when dealing with their personal life. 

A majority of the officers/agents/law enforcement I worked with made it a point to keep their families out of the loop as far as certain aspects go in regards to the job. What they don't want their family members to know is the terror. The ugliness of the streets and the slime they deal with daily. They want to protect them (their family) from heart wrenching sights and the fact that more often than not there is no HEA. Of course, that could be the reason for so many cop divorces and family estrangements. But that is the fuel for another blog. 

Yes, cops are very suspicious and prone to question those around them, especially those they don’t know or quite yet trust. But when it comes to their families, most LEOs have the biggest blind spot. Some officers actually subscribe to the thought process of  because I love you, I have to trust you. And in order to trust you, I cannot or will not scrutinize everything you do. If I do, I might find something I don’t want to either see or know. 

Now, there are officers at the other end of the spectrum that don’t trust anyone. They watch and wait and prepare to be wronged. As with any other self-fulfilling prophesy, they smile when they can say, "See? I knew I couldn’t thrust him/her."

The people I’ve seen most affected by the suspicion and paranoia of LEOs are their children. I know this, personally, because I am one of those dastardly people who could be considered over-bearing and over-protective where my child is concerned.

When I put in for and started working Sexual Predators, the only person living with me was my mother. Once I started working with a team, I couldn’t help but notice how protective and paranoid all the LEOs with children (working in the unit) were about who and where their children were and who they were with. Each of these Agents/Officers had a very short list of those people they allowed to take care of their children.

It's an unfortunate fact, most children who are sexually abused are victimized by relatives or close family friends. Cops live with that knowledge. Is it any wonder they're suspicious and paranoid?

Within three months of my working Sex Preds, my son entered my life. The first case I pulled was a child pornography case involving a toddler. Can you guess who I saw every time I looked at the photos?

That was a very difficult time for me. Needless to say, I also developed a very short list of who could watch my child.  

Most LEOs have guardian/protector mentalities. We know what can happen and fight to make sure our loved ones don’t become victims. So we become butt heads and invade their privacy, not because we don’t trust them – it’s their friends we have issues with.