One night recently, JD arrived home from a shift, walked in the door, and the first words out of his mouth were to announce that the blue line stickers were coming off our cars. He immediately grabbed a razor blade and headed back out to the driveway to remove the stickers before he’d even changed out of his uniform or eaten. The threat to LEO’s and their families is very real and growing, unfortunately. There’s intelligence that some plan to use these stickers to follow LEO families back to their homes. I had a feeling this day was coming given the current view of Law Enforcement, but it doesn’t make it any less scary or sad. Removing the stickers feels like giving in, like we’re letting the hatred win. I always have been and always will be a proud police wife, but I hate feeling like I have to hide it, like I’m supposed to be ashamed of it. If I meet someone who asks what my husband does, I’m not even sure I should tell them anymore. Maybe it’s safer to go with the generic “he works for the city,” not because I’m truly ashamed, but because I have a family, and my number one priority is my daughter’s safety. You just never know.
I have never had a lot of anxiety about the type of work JD does all day. Sure, I worry, but I don’t let that worry consume me. When people ask how I deal the stress of sending my husband off to such a dangerous job, I tell them that it’s equal parts faith and denial. I am confident in his abilities as a Law Enforcement Officer and trust that those abilities will bring him home, but quite honestly, I know I can’t let myself think about the realities of his job because it would start to take me to that place of extreme anxiety. Now that the atmosphere is changing, worry is becoming a greater part of my daily life. There’s a heaviness on my heart, a fear that comes with sending him off to every shift that I’m not used to. Officers are being targeted. I trust in JD’s abilities when the fight is fair, but now that our officers are being executed and shot at while performing everyday duties, putting on that uniform has become more dangerous than ever.
The voices of hatred and violence have been louder than the voices of support. Sometimes, it feels like LEO’s and their families are on their own, that no one is standing behind us anymore, but every once in a while, someone takes time to tell JD thank you or posts something kind on social media. I think all of us in this community need to be reminded that there are people out there who recognize how hard this is. That we’re not forgotten about. That we’re still appreciated. That all of this is still worth it.