But...there is a downside. He works..a lot. A LOT!!!! Because police officers are so terribly under paid...many of them barely hitting that $40,000 per year mark after many years of service, my husband works several part time jobs. Let's see, there is the part-time security at the school, there is the part-time security at Covance (formerly Eli Lilly) and there is the part-time security at Verizon Wireless Music Center. All are really great part-time jobs. Heck, If I could have 3 part time jobs that all paid over 20 dollars per hour, I would work them all too. It just all amounts to him not being home much. This week for example, today is his Friday...weird I know, Monday as his Friday but they work the following rotation....5 days on, 2 days off then 5 days on, 3 days off.....So Tuesday and Wednesday are his "weekend" However, He normally works 3rd shift so that immediately cuts into home time because he will sleep most of the first day he is home. Not even accounting for his part-time work. Because he will get off of work tomorrow at 6 am. He will then go straight to the school and work the 7-12 shift. He will come home, go to bed and then get back up at 9 pm to be ready for his 8 hr shift at Covance..which will start at 10 pm. He will then get home at 6 am Wednesday, sleep all day and get up in the evening. That will be his one day off...his one night to be with us this week. Thursday will start his work week all over again. Now, it's not always like that. Sometimes, he doesn't work during his time off...but more often than not, he does. Confused yet? I often am, and I can rarely keep up with his schedule. I never commit him to anything..usually I take the "I'll be there, Greg will come if he's not working" approach.
Then there is the fact that the car sits in our drive. Some would say that would be a plus, a criminal deterrent. Don't get me wrong, I am sure it is. But is also an invitation for people to just stop on by and complain about things. Never mind that we are having family time in the back yard, or we have company. The general public feels like that because the police are paid with tax payer dollars, the should have access to them whenever they want. Now, I don't disagree with that...the public should and DOES have access to the police/sheriff whenever they need it, they just can't have access to the ones that aren't on duty. READ-When we are outside, with our children..please don't interrupt us to complain about your neighbors loud party from 3 weeks ago!!!
This summer, I was in my driveway, loading up the kids to take them to gymnastics when some woman comes tearing into my drive. I start up the car, get the kids in, and then ask her if I can help her. She jumps out and says "Is your husband home". When I explained that he works 3rd shift and he was asleep at the moment, she demanded that I wake him. The problem? The night before, while she was walking her little yappy dog, a child walking a pit bull was unable to keep control of his dog and the pit bull ran up to her and jumped up on her. She wanted me to wake my not on duty husband for that! Sheer Craziness! Not to mention that my husband is a CITY officer and we live in the COUNTY! Therefor, she really needs to call the Sheriff's department or Animal Control. I couldn't get her to understand that. Needless to say, I didn't wake up Greg...and this woman left a little angry.
Then there are the complaints we get about the use of the car. Let me settle this once and for all..It's a company car. It's part of his salary. If the general public doesn't want the officers to use the cars for personal use, then they need to pay the officers more. As long as he stays within the limits set by the town council, he can drive that car whenever he pleases to do whatever he wants. PERIOD. Police/Sheriff departments like to have their cars out, visible to the public...you see a police car? you don't if they are on duty or not. Plus...here is a little known fact: An officer can not pull you over unless they are in a marked car OR in uniform. So....if we are out in our van and we see someone driving erratically? Nope, can't do anything. BUT say we are driving home late one night and get behind what appears to be a drunk driver...Does my husband flip on the lights and check out the situation. YOU BET HE DOES. He's always working, even when he's not working. They are expected to do this if they are driving the car. It's part of the responsibility of being an officer of the law
Finally..there is the "your just meeting your quota" line. I HATE THIS! They don't have quotas. but I think they should. Let me repeat that, I THINK THEY SHOULD!!!!!!! It would help them be accountable for their time. Besides, if you aren't speeding, chances are you are not going to get pulled over. It's a simple concept, really. People just don't like to be called out when they have done something wrong.
And that folks, is why my husband is a hero. It's not that he isn't putting his life on the line...because he is, daily. It's not that he deosn't care about public safety...because he does. He's also a hero because he has to put up with daily criticism/snide remarks from his employers....YOU! You judgemental, unappreciative jerks! Ok, maybe you all aren't like that. But for some reason, you feel like you should complain, criticize, and bad mouth them because you "PAY THEIR SALARY" Well, I have news for you...you also pay teachers and fireman's salaries...do you go to their place of employment and openly criticise them? Maybe a lot of our youth wouldn't be in trouble with the law if the public stood in the classrooms and open complained about the teachers abilities...
Treat your local public safety officials with respect, folks. That's all I am saying. They are real people with families and lives...and they generally do the best they can.