It’s Christmas Eve, and families across the country are gathering for a meal, attending church together, and sharing in the warm love of this cherished holiday.
Well, most families are doing that. A certain — hopefully small — percentage of families are cooking meth, beating each other senseless with cookware, and finding myriad other creative ways to ruin the holiday for cops and other first responders who have to come clean up the mess.
With this reality in mind, I wanted to pull together a short compilation of Christmas wishes “from my guys, for my guys” to keep with you in the back of your head as you go out on shift this year.
Here, you will find messages from Joel Shults, Dick Fairburn, Dan Marcou, Lou Senese, Travis Yates, Olivia Johnson, Duane Wolfe, and Glenn French. Please add your own best wishes for PoliceOne Members in the comments area below.
Before I get into those messages, however, I want to reiterate the editor’s note from yesterday’s newsletter. According to ODMP, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve are historically the deadliest days for police officers throughout the year. No matter what you encounter out on tour this Christmas — from domestics to traffic stops — stay safe out there my brothers and sisters.
Oh, and Merry Christmas!
From PoliceOne, Merry Christmas
In a world of pop psychology, narcissism, and psuedo-self esteem, what I wish for my colleagues in blue is the gift of honest self- appraisal. Give yourself credit for the vital role you serve in your nation and community, then give yourself a goal for doing better for them, your family, and yourself.
— Joel Shults, PoliceOne Columnist
Since “World Peace” is probably out of the question (except in the mind of a beauty pageant contestant), I wish as peaceful a Christmas as possible for the “Rough Men/Women” who patrol the thin, blue line, allowing the rest of us to sleep peaceably. And, should the peace be broken, I wish for you a calm spirit, a keen eye and a steady hand as you apply that level of force necessary to overcome your adversary. Go home safe, hug your loved ones and say a prayer for your brothers and sisters on the next shift.
— Dick Fairburn, PoliceOne Columnist
May all of you remember during this Christmas season that, although the work that you do is at times difficult and dangerous, at the same time it is also blessed. It is written, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Merry Christmas to all of you peacemakers, and may the New Year find you safe, strong and positive.
— “Lt. Dan” Marcou, PoliceOne Columnist
To all PoliceOne supporters, I can't believe 2013 is coming to a close. On behalf of myself and John E. Reid and Associates, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and safe and healthy New Year.
— Lou Senese, PoliceOne Contributor
Christmas brings to mind many memories. It is a time for family, friends and the birth of a Savior — but for those of us in law enforcement, it can be much more. We can all think of that time with co-workers or that crazy Christmas Eve call and a number of other things that the greatest job in the world provides. This Christmas, please take care of yourself and those around you.
Be vigilant in all that you do, and take time away from the job to be with your family. Leave the hustle of the season behind, get in the same room with those you love, and tell them how much you care for them. From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas.
— Travis Yates, PoliceOne Columnist
The sacrifices made all year by our first responders do not go unnoticed. I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. In addition, the holiday season can be a very difficult time for many, especially for those who have lost loved ones. To all of our first responder families who lost loved ones in 2012, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you during this holiday season. Stay safe out there, and happy holidays.
— Olivia Johnson, PoliceOne Contributor
Have a joyous holiday season. As we head into 2014, consider getting a couple of presents just for you. What is your “present” state of physical fitness? Be honest about where you are at and make the time to improve in those areas. Ask yourself if you are truly “present” to those you love. Leave work at work and truly engage with friends and family, not just for the holidays but all year round. Your greatest “present” is your own life. Watch your speed, wear your vest, and strap into that seat belt. Stay healthy — mentally and physically.
— Duane Wolfe, PoliceOne Columnist
Christmas around the cop shop is always a little amusing. The narcs will finally wash their hair before they get to mom’s house for Christmas dinner, the SWAT cops will take a day off from the gym, the brass will be at lunch all week, the sergeants will be forced to make decisions on their own in the absence of the brass, the traffic cops can finally get a work out in since the SWAT cops aren’t in the gym, the internal affairs guys will finally be spotted around the station for a change since they won’t have anybody to follow and the rookies will be in the donut shops showing off their shinny badges trying to land a date.
Sometimes in Law Enforcement we have a tendency to allow petty jealousies and other factors to create divisions amongst our ranks. However, there are two occasions that ease the petty jealousies and renews the brotherhood we cops share. The first is obvious — when one of us bleeds we all bleed. The second is Christmas. We seem to reflect on what’s truly important during the holidays as we spend time with our families and friends. This year brings thoughts of all the children whom will have Christmas without their father or mother because they sacrificed their stay on earth for the safety of others.
I wish I could personally ease each child's pain as they sit under the Christmas tree without their hero but that’s not realistic. This Christmas, reach out to those children and let them know daddy or mommy was a real hero. Send them a card, an email, or an old photo. Drop by the house and say “Hi” or just give them a call. You don't have to be a close friend of the deceased cop just a brother in blue keeping the promise we all make to each other, taking care of those we sometimes leave behind. Merry Christmas and stay safe.
— Glenn French, PoliceOne Columnist