3 years ago

January 2020 Blues Vol 36 No 1

The BLUES Police Newspaper celebrates 35yrs. of service to Law Enforcement


BACK TO THE FUTURE GET OUT BEFORE YOU GET TOO DAMN DEEP This editorial was published in the shit. The days of trying to make a difference loose everything. August 1989 issue of the Blues. An are over. I’m just happy I can I used to think that being a cop was officer found the following letter in his end the shift without me or someone everything – It was my entire life. But locker after a fellow officer had committed I know getting shot. It’s a whole new I was wrong. It took my life instead. suicide earlier in the day. world out there Ed, a whole new My marriage, my kids, my sanity, my Dear Ed: world. everything. Please don’t be pissed at me. I know But unlike you, I feel stuck in the Learn from me brother. Get out you’re upset, probably mad as hell at job. I have too many bills to retire. while you still can. Make a life for me right now. But you and I go way And I’ve done this my entire adult yourself outside of law enforcement. back. We started together. life. Being a cop is all I know. I have Love always, your brother Pete. We hit the streets as rookies, took no idea what I would do if I did quit. 1/3 PAGE all the bullshit from our training But staying on has become impossible. My sergeant doesn’t want an old letter was written (1989), I immediate- When I first noted the year this powerful officers, and finally rode by ourselves. ly thought that not much has changed The dumbass sergeant we had on man riding around in HIS district. He in the law enforcement field over the nights was just so frigging stupid. But wants younger cops who don’t ask 36 years. In fact, we have sadly seen an we kicked his ass back in the day. And questions. There is no more proactive increase in law enforcement suicide. we put a lot of bad guys away, took a police work. It’s all about clearing the However, this is often a complicated lot of drugs off the street and made calls and staying out of trouble. And issue and must be examined as such. a difference. We were bad asses, and he sure as hell doesn’t have my back. It takes time to verify and gather valid statistics on law enforcement suicide. everyone knew it. If I screw up, I’m done. I encourage you to follow the organization 1 is Too Many as they are exam- Until the night you got shot. I raced So here I am. Everyone I know to the scene and held you in my arms has either retired, died or moved ining law enforcement suicide from until the EMTs showed up. Those first on. There is no one left. No wife. No multiple perspectives. Simply relying on few hours in the hospital was a living girlfriend (she left me for a younger numbers is dangerous as they do not hell for all of us. Both our wives and guy now that’s ironic huh). Kids hardly tell the whole story of an individual’s life and decisions. Fortunately, more kids were all there. Waiting on news ever call or come by. I feel lost and agencies are now embracing the need to that you would be ok. You were lucky. abandoned. No one to turn too, or offer counseling, peer support services, I was lucky. But over the years, we anyone that can help. I’m sure no one and suicide prevention and education lost a lot of brothers and sisters in will understand why I took this way programs to reduce stigma. When an Blue. Every funeral the hurt became out. But I’m not as strong as you. Not officer dies by suicide, we often play the more and more painful. Each time it as successful as you. Not as ambitious. Not Anything. So please forgive blame game and look to command staff and the agency culture as a whole for took longer and longer to get over the answers. Although this is an important pain and get back to work. me for leaving without saying goodbye. Give my love to my kids and my balance between individual responsibil- retrospective step, there is often a fine As the years passed, you and Janie grew closer and closer. You had the nieces. Hug your wife and tell her I ity for taking care of ourselves and our best marriage and the best kids. You love her. own mental health needs versus relying promoted up the chain to Asst. Chief And finally, for all my brothers and solely on agencies to solve these complicated issues. Pete’s words ring true. and I was so proud of you. sisters I leave behind, I leave you with This career can take a great deal from But while you were soaring, I was this. Do the best job you can do. Make you if you let it. Recognize this early, on a deep dive. Debbie left me and I your mark on this world. Make a difference make healthy life choices, and reach barely saw the kids any more. I was in your community and your out for help if needed. We need you. To stuck on nights, working patrol in the department. Be the best cop you can report a law enforcement suicide please same district you and I grew up in. be. And then for God’s sake, get the call toll-free 1-833-784-2133. For immediate assistance and suicide prevention resources, please contact Safe Call But it’s not the same anymore. Times hell out and enjoy your life before it’s have changed. The cops are different. too late. Spend time with your wife, Now at 206-459-3020. The people are different. And the job I your family and your kids. Get out TINA JAECKLE used to love, has just really turned to before you get too damn deep and 10 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 11

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