Des Moines Public Safety Officer 911

The Significant Other

By Dave Brown, DMPD Retired

     Quite often with nothing but the best of intentions, we often hear people say that there is a special place in Heaven for certain people.  Well that sentiment can most certainly be applied to the wife, spouse and in some cases significant others of a police officers.

     Sure, being a cop is one tough job, there aren’t many tougher.  But being the partner of a police officer in a relationship ranks right up there with the best of them.  While the officer is working odd hours, weekends, birthdays and other special days like Christmas, the partner is explaining why Dad or Mom isn’t or can’t be home.

     Our partners’ stand-by us, they support us, they comfort us and they do their very best to understand us.  They put up with the odd hours, our absences due to duty requirements.  They often bite their tongues when we express our frustrations, our prejudices or just in general our venting about the behavior of citizens or administrative bureaucracy that inhibits our ability to do our job.  They are there to serve as our sounding board and be a buffer from the insanity that often threatens to destroy us.

     I often think of my first wife and realize that if not for her I would have probably never made it through the police academy.  It was her that typed up page after page of dictated notes.  Enough notes to fill nearly three huge three ring binders of material presented to us during the police academy.  And even though the job took its toll on our relationship I will always be thankful to her for not only doing all that typing but for supporting me in my desire to become a police officer.

     While I was working I often heard people ask my late wife, “doesn’t it drive you crazy”?  Or, “aren’t you scared to death to have him out there doing what he does”?  She would always reply by saying, he knows what he’s doing or he can handle himself just fine.  She would say that as confidently as she could.  I knew that was one of the ways she supported me, but I also knew every time the phone rang at home while I was working, a lump formed in her throat and her heart skipped a couple of beats out of fear of who was on the other end of the line.       In my opinion, there is no such thing as a retired cop.  The feelings, ideas and yes even prejudices we developed during our careers continue to be a very big part of who we are.  And our wives, spouses and partners continue to serve as a buoy in life to keep us afloat and keep us from drowning in a sea of evil and violence that we see overtaking our society.  Those people (our life partners) were and are the people we know we can always turn to and even if it is only through their memory give us something to hold on to too keep us stable and sane.

     In the last few weeks Penny Rounds and Linda Moon have taken their much deserved place in Heaven with the rest of the sorority of wives of police officers.  Like a few others before them, Penny and Linda had a double burden; they had both a husband and a son who chose to serve in that thin blue line.  For that I know they had more than a few sleepless nights.  Now they can rest, but never doubt that they and their peers in Heaven will always be watching over us and be waiting for us when we get there, just like they were waiting every time we returned home from work.

     To all those people who serve as our anchor, whether you be with us still or have gone on to your reward, on behalf of the rest of us: Thank you for everything you do and have done to make us the members of the proud profession we are apart of.    

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