It’s National Police Week. (May 13-18). I would’ve never known about it if my sister hadn’t sent me a link to a website about it on Facebook, our new way to communicate.
Our dad was a Police Lieutenant. In the beginning, it was kind of cool that he was a policeman. By the time he died, police weren’t the respected people they were at one time. It was sad
My dad had great jobs in the police department. He was a mounted policeman before I was born―the police officers who rode horses in the big cities to fight crime. He had great stories about all his horses, Max and Laddie were two of them.
When I was a little kid, he worked in the Public Relations Department. He wrote speeches and appeared on TV telling people to be careful. I remember him also warning people against drinking and driving. My family would get really excited when he appeared on TV every once in a while. My mother would refresh her lipstick before she sat in front of the television. She liked to pretend he could see her.
When I was 8, I broke my arm trying to turn a cartwheel and it got in the community paper. it was ironic— safety officers daughter breaks her arm. It was a way to warn other kids to be careful.
I was too young to be embarrassed by the whole thing. Who wouldn’t want their picture in the paper, and be able to share it for current events in the third grade?
One time he made The Cleveland Press front page because he’d convinced some deranged husband in the A & P Market to drop his gun. He was threatening to kill his wife, and anybody that got in his way. In those days you rarely heard about people randomly shooting innocent victims. My sisters and I were so proud of our heroic father.
He didn’t like working in the districts where they had to investigate murders. One time he had a call to go to our old apartment. “It was hard to see a dead man with a knife wound lying in the middle of my old living room floor,” said my dad.
He worked in the Juvenile Department, and that one was a favorite job too. He liked working on some level with the kids, although he had to arrest them.
In his last job, he was in charge of the traffic flow and the Motorcycle policemen in Cleveland. I know he was fond of the motorcycle guys. He told me had nicknames for some of them. I guess it broke up the tension they were under.
But the point is my Dad was a policeman because he wanted to serve people to the best of his ability, and he did. He also thought King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table was a great story. I think he imagined himself as one of those knights. We all went along with that idea.
I hope those guys who are willing to put their lives on the line every time they go to work are now getting the respect they deserve.