With more than 200 self-help organizations, often known as fellowships with worldwide memberships in the millions, it’s probably not surprising that there would be a program for law enforcement called Cop-A-Holics Anonymous.
Cop-A-Holics Anonymous was formed by cops who could relate to the specific difficulties of being a police officer. The twelve-step methods adopted for Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcoctics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Workaholics Anonymous, to name a few, are the same principles used in the recovery of Cop-A-Holics Anonymous.
Cops regularly attend meetings with other cops to share their particular problem. Badges and credentials are checked at the door to ensure all members are police officers. No weapons, TASERs, pepper spray, cuffs, or batons are allowed in the meeting. Only a chairperson, who pats every member down with a security wand, has a sidearm. In the spirit of self-admission and admission of each member’s problem, all rank, pay grade, or titles are null and void so the catchphrase, “Hi, I’m _____ and I’m a cop-a-holic,” completely levels the playing field.
“Hi, my name is Steve, and I’m a cop-a-holic.”
Members reply in unison, “Hi Steve.”
“It’s been 30 days since I last strip searched my wife,” Steve confessed.
Some of the members nod in agreement as they to can relate to Steve’s problem. Steve then added, “When I’ve had a rough day I want to come home and pat her down, give her a Miranda warning, and if I completely lose it, perform a good old fashion cavity search!”
Thankfully Steve says he has a supportive, understanding wife who takes pleasure in the occasional attention. Steve’s sponsor says Steve’s wife is an enabler. But Steve says for now, that’s okay.
“Hi, my name is Chad, and I’m a cop-a-holic.”
“Hi Chad” chimes the group.
“It’s been six months since I had my last SPAM sandwich,” says Chad with a great big smile on his face. Chad tells the group of his five divorces since joining the force 15 years ago, and how those experiences have left him broke and in debt up to his Sam Browne.
“To save money I ate SPAM morning, noon, and night. I could make the best SPAM Wontons and my Spam Fajitas were to die for, but I especially enjoyed making pineapple SPAM upside-down cake and snacked on SPAM Jell-O.”
Chad confesses he still likes to buy his street cloths at the Salvation Army and get his haircut at PetSmart!
“Hi, my name is Maria, and I’m a cop-a-holic.”
“Hi Maria” says the group as they straighten up to pay more attention. “It’s been three years since I polygraphed my daughter,” said a proud Maria.
“Now that she’s eleven, she wants to host a sleepover! I told her if she passes a hair follicle test I’ll consider it.”
Maria said she regularly downloads her daughter’s SIM card and does background checks on all her little buddies, saying, “my daughter is about to enter junior high school and we all know that’s when the disruptive behavior begins. I need the support of this group to keep me from relapsing because polygraphs are expensive!”
Hi, my name is Troy and I’m a cop-a-holic.”
As Troy looks at his watch he says “It’s been five hours since I last drove my patrol car through a drive-thru fast food restaurant and received an illicit gratuity (free food).”
Troy admits that he regularly loads up on burgers and fries several times during his eight-hour shift.
“Today I only hit Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Chick-Fil-A, but I may have to pass up on Chick-Fil-A because they charged me half price today.”
Troy acknowledged he’s trying to get through this one day at a time but for now its one hour at a time! After the meeting Troy could be heard asking another member if there were drive-thru window at Olive Garden!
Phrases You Might Hear
You never know what you may hear in a meeting of Cop-A-Holics Anonymous. Phrases like:
• “Just for today I’m not going to wear my uniform to bed.”
• “I probably won’t ticket my mother-in-law again.”
• “My therapist wants to know if I REALLY need to arm myself with five backup guns.”
• “I started taking an art class. No matter how hard I try, that bowl of fruit always ends up looking like traffic accident diagram.”
• “I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who used to wear Kevlar underwear.”
• “For our anniversary I bought my wife the Box Set to ‘Hill Street Blues’, then she bought me a tennis bracelet!”
So, PoliceOne Members out there... don’t look for the differences, look for the similarities. Could you or someone you work with be a cop-a-holic?