I’ll have a Blue Christmas and a Happy Blue Year!
All too often, we hear about the dangerous side of law enforcement. While the job is far more dangerous than even our most staunch supporters know, there is also a lot of fun associated with being a law enforcement officer. I can tell you, for instance, that many if not most of my friends would rather hear stories about my days on the street than my days in my law office. “I wrote an amazing brief today” is just not likely to ignite a lot of conversation over a dinner table! However, stories about stunt drivers getting their cars stuck in trees, people calling 911 because they locked their dogs in the house and other absurd occurrences are perfect fodder for a great evening out!
When LEOs first start working in uniform, they think that they alone see the craziest examples of human behavior. However, I have been privileged to speak with LEOs from around the United States and a few from Canada and Britain and I can assure you, people are equally as “interesting” everywhere and stories of their exploits provide a common source of entertainment for all LEOs.
The holidays, from Thanksgiving through the New Year, provide a special form of entertainment for the average LEO! While there are the occasional domestic disputes that force us to work hard to keep our sense of humor, more often than not, this time of year is filled with the makings of many memories. For instance, the DUI driver who is booked in wearing his elf hat provides hours of entertainment! The creative arrangement of yard art that sparks an angry call to 911 is almost as entertaining as the subsequent demand for an immediate and thorough investigation replete with a full CSI-type forensic analysis. Let us not forget the loud parties full of entirely sober people of any age who react with utter surprise when you arrive to simply ask them to turn down the music or arrange the cars on the street to allow emergency vehicles to pass. You just cannot make this stuff up.
So many times, I believed that I owed someone a cover charge for the humor I derived from the antics of complainants and offenders alike. From the off-key singing of DUI drivers who did not know the words to the songs they belted out on the way to jail to the guy who “ran” from me on a traffic stop at a max speed of about 65 mph believing he was approaching the speed of light, it’s all just a perk of the job. Those moments served to lighten the burdens of tough shifts and helped form bonds of friendship that will last forever.
So, this season and in the coming year, be safe and come home at the end of your shift. However, enjoy the window to humanity available only to LEOs free of charge and without limit that provides the occasional chuckle and more often laughter to the point of tears. Given the demands of the job, you’ve earned every second of the entertainment! Stay safe.