The Maryland Fallen Police And Correctional Officers Memorial Home
St. Michael
Every attempt has been made to give credit to the authors of each poem below. If one of these poems was written by you, please contact me so that I can place your name onto your poem for the credit due you.

The will to survive, to survive the attack, must be uppermost in my mind. For the one who lives through a fight is better off than the one who does not. Therefore, preparation and not paranoia is the key to my survival. To survive I must be aware, be alert, be confident, be deceptive, be decisive, and be ready. I must expect the unexpected and do the unexpected.

When faced with violent assault, my life depends upon my reaction without hesitation. There is no time to ponder because to ponder is to possibly perish. My response, if attacked, must not be fear but aggressiveness. I must block out all thoughts of my own peril and think only of stopping the assailant.

My prize in personal defense is my life. The perfect fight is one that is over before the loser realizes what is happening. The perfect defense is a counterattack that succeeds before the enemy can attack again. Therefore, if I am assaulted, I will retaliate instantly. I will be sudden and quick. I will be fast, not fair. Speed is my salvation.

If my attacker knocks me down, I will fight back against the odds and get up off the ground. I will seize the initiative and take every advantage. My concern is to stay alive. I won't hold back.

If I find myself under lethal attack, I won't be kind. I will be harsh and tough. If I must shoot, I will shoot with precision and shoot to stop. If I must use my hands, I will use them with all the strength I possess and more. When I strike, I will strike hard; I will kick, punch, and do what must be done to survive. I will strike no more after my attacker is incapable of further action, but I will see that he is stopped.

Above all, I won't give up and I will make it. I will not die in the streets, or in an alley, or in any other part of the concrete jungle. I will survive; not just by good luck and good fortune, but by my skills.

If I adhere to these basic principles of survival and adhere to the attitude that is suggested in them, as a police officer, I will greatly enhance and perfect my skills in utilizing good and safe practices, tactics, and techniques.


- Author Unknown

Someone Killed A Policeman Today
Someone killed a policeman today
And a part of America died...
And a piece of our country which he swore to protect
Will be buried with him at his side.

The beat that he walked was a battlefield too,
Just as if he had gone off to war.
Though the flag of our nation won't fly at half mast,
To his name they will add a gold star.

The suspect that shot him will stand up in court
With counsel demanding his rights,
While a young, widowed mother must work hard for kids
And spend many long, lonely nights.

Yes, someone killed a policeman today,
Maybe in your hometown or mine,
While we slept in comfort behind our locked doors
A cop put his life on the line.

Now his ghost walks the beat on a dark city street
And he stands by each new rookies side.
He answered the call, of himself gave his all

And a Part of America Died!

- America Police Hall Of Fame
The Shield
A cop was killed one somber night, They buried him today.
He gave his life to do a job. A wooden box his pay.
Taps were played and the shots were fired That signified the loss.
They echoed 'cross the lonely land. All eyes stared at the cross.
The folded flag was passed along To his widow's shaking hands.
She held her daughter in her arms, And answered her demands.
So cry, my dear, don't hold it back, Don't lock it up inside.
We loved him so and he loved us, He served his land with pride.
He gave his life to do a job, That others could not do.
He proudly wore that silver shield, With pride we'll miss him too.
The young lass, with tear-filled eyes, Then turned and faced her mother.
This promise I give, I vow today, I'll never give another.
Some day I too will wear the blue And stand among the best.
I'll serve my land and do my job, Dad's badge pinned to my chest.
But if I too should fall some day, Fighting to hold that line,
Then take the badge from off my chest, Give me my box of pine.
And take that badge and keep it bright, For there will come another,
Who'll pin it on a shirt of blue, And swear that oath of honor.
And while he stands with lifted hand, His chest filled out with pride,
Beside and behind will stand the ones Who served, who fought, who died.
Though officers die, families cry, Others will come along,
To take the badge well worn with pride, To try and right the wrong.
It's those who watch while others serve, Who owe a debt not small.
These ones in blue, with silver shield, Stand firm, stand fast, stand tall.

- Author Unknown
Officer Down
I approach the vehicle, as blue lights bounce around me,
It's not a matter of like and hate, it's the violation I saw.
As I get closer, the danger I do not see,
I'm thinking of enforcing the law.
I hear the shot, and feel the pain,
As I drop to the ground
The car speeds off driven by a man who has to be insane,
As I finally into my radio, mumble, Officer Down!
As I lay there, I thought of my wife,
I see the dreams we had made.
I ask the Lord to please spare my life,
Then I felt myself begin to fade.
I stopped him only for speeding,
Then I heard a sweet voice on my ear.
Come with me son, to Heaven I am leading.
No more will you have to shed a tear.
I opened my eyes to see my Savior,
He said, Follow me, my son.
He will pay for his behavior,
For you have performed a job well done!

- Chris Tillman
Just A Cop
The funeral line was long, There's an awful lot of cars,
Folks came out of the restaurants, They came out of the bars.
The workers at the construction sites All let their hammers drop.
Someone asked. What is this all for? And they said, Aw, just a cop.

Some chuckled at the passing cars. Some shed a silent tear
Some people said, It's stupid, all these dumb policemen here.
How come they are not out fighting crime? Or in a doughnut shop?
Sure is a lot of trouble, For someone who's just a cop.

They blocked the intersections, They blocked the interstate.
People yelled and cursed, Damn, it's gonna make me late!
This is really ridiculous! They're makin' us all stop!
It seems they are sure wastin' time, On someone who's just a cop.

Into the cemetery now, The slow procession comes,
The woeful Taps are slowly played. There's loud salutes from guns.
The graveyard workers shake their heads This service is a flop.
There's lots of good words wasted, On someone who's just a cop

Yeah, just a cop to most folks. Did his duty every day.
Trying to protect us, Till they took his life away.
And when he got to heaven, St. Peter put him at the top.
An angel asked him, Who was that? And he said, Aw, just a cop.

- Author Unknown
A Police Officer's Prayer
Lord, I ask for courage~
Courage to face and conquer my own fears ...
Courage to take me where others will not go ...
I ask strength~
Strength of body to protect others,
and strength of spirit to lead others ...
I ask for dedication~
Dedication to my job, to do it well,
Dedication to my community, to keep it safe ...
Give me, Lord, concern for those who trust me,
and compassion for those who need me ...
And please, Lord, through it all,
be at my side ...

- Author Unknown
The Thin Blue Line
There is a line the color of the sky
on a clear afternoon There is a line
the hue of the ocean on a bright sunny day
There is a line the purest shade of a newborn's eyes
awakening for the first time There is a line
that protects us from harm in all we do
whether day or night There is a line
no one can penetrate no one can alleviate
There is a line made of those who choose
to follow a calling many do not hear and still more do not comprehend
They choose to walk the path of fear, hate, and mistrust
taken by so few but marked by so many
And when one leaves this line they leave a legacy
but the line does not break for the remaining must still protect
There may be emptiness a loss, or sadness
but never a hole not in this line
This line that holds the ghosts of the souls who have gone
and the souls of the ghosts who will be The Thin Blue Line

- Author Unknown
A Cop on the Take
First he takes the oath.
Now look at all he takes -
He takes it in stride when people call him pig.
He takes time to stop and talk to children.
He takes your verbal abuse while giving you a ticket you really deserve.
He takes on creeps you would be afraid to even look at.
He takes time away from his family to keep you safe.
He takes your injured children to the hospital.
He takes the graveyard shift without complaint because it's his turn.
He takes his life into his hands daily.
He takes you home when your car breaks down.
He takes time to explain why both you headlights have to work.
He takes the job no one else wants - telling you a loved one has died.
He takes criminals to jail.
He takes in sights that would make you cry.
Sometimes he cries too, but He takes it anyway because someone has to.
If he is lucky, He takes retirement.
He takes memories to bed each night that you couldn't bear for even one day.
Sometimes, He Takes a bullet.
And, yes, occasionally he may take a free cup of coffee.
Then on day he pays for all he has taken,
and God takes him.

- Author Unknown
"I have pulled dead, mangled bodies from cars. I have lied to people as they were dying. I said you are going to be fine as I held their hand and watched the life fade out. I have held dying babies. Bought lunch for people who were mentally ill and haven't eaten in a while. I have had people try to stab me. Fought with men trying to shoot me. Ben attacked by women who have had the shit kicked out of them by their husband as I was arresting him. I have held towels on bullet wounds. Done CPR when I knew it wouldn't help just to make family members feel better. I have torn down doors, fought in drug houses. Chased fugitives though the woods. I have been in high speed car chases. Foot chases across an interstate during rush hour traffic. I have been in crashes. Been squeezing the trigger about to kill a man when they came to their senses and stopped. Waded through large angry crowds by myself. Drove like a mad man to help a fellow officer. Let little kids who don't have much sit in my patrol car and pretend they are a cop for their birthday. I have taken a lot of people to jail. Given many breaks. Prayed for people I don't even know. Yes and at times I have been violent when I had to be. I have been kind when I could. I admit I have drove to some dark place and cried by myself when I was overwhelmed. I have missed Christmas and other holidays more than I wanted too. Every cop I know has done all these things and more for lousy pay, suckie hours and a short life expectancy. We don't want your pity, I don't care for your respect. Just let us do our jobs without killing us."
- Corey Loftice
The tears flowed like a river,
streaming down my face.
Another brother, another sister gone,
you got your call to a much better place.
The sky was blue and the sun was shining,
your time to go had such bad timing.
You should of had a long time to drift,
But for you - now we will finish the shift.
The skies are dark now,
and the gloom has set in.
But bringing in the bad guy,
The light is getting brighter again.
Now when I think of you -- I think good thoughts.
We love you and miss you lots.
It's awful to think how this man took your lives away,
But, now I know no harm can be done to you today.

- Author Unknown

A Patrolman's Departure
They are standing straight and stoic, they are standing glove-to-glove,
It is raining, it is freezing, but they stand for pain and love.
Their hat-brims hide the hatred and the torture in their eyes,
They cannot help but feel the void when one of their own dies.
The service now is over and the widow staggers out,
All arms now at attention as the bagpipes cry and shout.
Flag-draped casket on six shoulders, could this day get any worse?
A salute's the silent answer as they load him in the hearse.
The speeches done, the songs are sung, it's time now for a ride,
The cortege is enormous, like a head-of-state has died,
The lights roll infinitum and the grief is crawling past,
Us citizens just stand there, we are watching to the last.
We wonder at the pageantry, our heads shake in despair,
We think, as the three-shot volley pierces through the morning air,
Oh, this didn't have to happen, what an awful tragic day,
In this sea of hurt and anguish, how will Justice find its way?
But as the ranks disperse and as they trudge back to their cars,
We know that for the killer await four walls of iron bars.
They'll put aside their grief just like they're trained so well to do,
For even crafty killers can't evade this mass of blue.
So the funeral has ended, and the mayor has gone home,
I've heard some people question, are we well within the zone,
To put on such a costly show for cops just pounding pavement?
But how can we sit 'round and judge a slain cop's final payment?
To say it's inappropriate, to question it with scorn,
Shows that you know nothing of the target that is worn,
On every good cop's shirt or vest, on every trooper's heart,
It calls out like a bulls eye, it is simply called the badge.

- Author Unknown
Your Daddy Wore A Badge
Your daddy wore a badge, she said,
So cry your grieving tears,
Then dry your eyes and lift your head
He lived to lessen fears.
He wore a badge with pride she said,
And justice was his dream,
He lived to serve and serving died,
And though it may not seem
That one cop's death could make this land
A better place to be,
His life was where he took a stand
And forced the blind to see.
So dry your tears and lift your head
And make your daddy proud,
Be strong in heart, for he's not dead
Just lost among the crowd.
His dream lives on in you, my son,
(the widow softly spoke)
She squeezed his hand,
Then sorrow won;
I watched as her heart broke.
Then something changed:
A sigh half sighed escaped her lips unfinished.
She straightened up;
Although he died, his life was undiminished.
Your daddy wore a badge, she smiled,
Be proud of who he was.
He did his job (she hugged her child)
Because, my son, because...

- Lisa K. Borchers, 16 Jan 1986
Men and women in green, brown, or blue,
to the badge and code we are true.
Of us you seldom think,
while your lives are in the pink.
We serve come rain, snow, or sun,
to save a life, maybe draw our gun.
Performing task's that most don't want,
patrolling streets --- the lawless haunt.
Yes it's true and somewhat sad,
some break the code and do go bad.
You poke fun and make some jokes,
but most us are just good hometown folks.
Don't think of us as men and women of steel,
without a heart, or that we do not feel.
We know joy and also fear,
we laugh, we love, and we even shed a tear.
We have friend's, home's, kid's, hubby's and wives,
but for strangers risk we risk our lives.
Next time you see one of us, stop -- say thanks,
to man or woman that fill our ranks.

- Author Unknown
A Letter to Heaven

It has been 11 months since you were taken from me so suddenly. To me it is like it happened yesterday. So many regrets...Sorry that the last things you heard were my screams for help and my begging you not to leave me. Sorry that another human being watched you die and would not help you; you who respected all humans no matter who or what they were. Sorry I pulled into that Mobil station for help. If I had not, maybe you could have been saved by someone who would help me. Sorry that the kids did not have a chance to say goodbye. I do not know why that man would not help you. I guess he was afraid of losing his job...of going against Mobil's policy. I don't know...I guess we will never know. But, it haunts me Hon. It always will. The men and women of the 113th gave you such honor...Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, and Inspectors...even men from the DA's office as well as men and women from various precincts came. Hon, believe it or not, even people you had arrested came to my door to offer their support. It seems anyone you came in contact with in your life came. We always knew you were a good husband, father and grandfather, but these people expressed that you were a great friend, teacher, supervisor, and a great human being. It made your children and I very proud of you, and your grandchildren, Kelly, Katie, Billy and Shannon will never ever forget their grandfather. In songs it says my heart is broken. How can a heart break? ...well it can. It can be ripped out of you before you even know it. They say you are still with me, but I cannot see or touch you and that is very hard. So, I will have to live with my regrets and use the 33 years we had together for memories. I hope that, as the song says, One Sweet Day, we'll be together. You are in my heart forever. Your Hon

- Author Unknown
You're A Policeman
Dedicated to Law Enforcement Officers throughout the United States

When the hours seem long and the going, rough
When the pay seems small and the criminals, tough
Just square your shoulders and call their bluff
Let them be the ones to cry, Enough
You're a Policeman.
When the public scoffs and the papers rave
And blame you alone for a new crime wave
They'll change quick enough when there're lives to save
For deep in their hearts they count you brave
You're a Policeman.
When you bid your loved ones goodbye each day
Don't be too sure you've the harder way
You shoot it out with the crook at bay
They're the ones who sit a home and pray
You're a Policeman.
When you get back home dog tired at night
And wonder if life's really worth the fight
Your cares will vanish and burdens seem light
If you've done your best and your conscience's right
You're a Policeman.
When promotion comes, as it surely will,
If you do your job an dare loyal still
Don't forget soon in your new found thrill
Those others who are plodding up the hill
You're a Policeman.
When you leave at last this worldly din
And seek, like mortals, Paradise to win
Saint Peter, I trust, will o'erlook ev'ry sin
And say, Well done, my boy, come right in.
You're a Policeman.

- Author Unknown

My Brother
Although I never met him, I knew him.
He was idealistic and believed he could make a difference.
He was immensely proud of the uniform and the badge and what they represent.
He felt privileged to be of service to his department, his
community and to his country.
He was a cop.
Although I never met him, I knew him.
He was friendly, courteous, and polite, yet firm.
He laughed and joked, but was serious when necessary.
He was competent, trained, and professional.
He was a cop.
Although I never met him, I knew him.
He had a strong sense of right and wrong and became
frustrated when true justice became sidetracked.
He felt the sharp criticism that goes with the job, but he never wavered.
He stood by and for his fellow officers.
He was a cop.
Although I never met him, I knew him.
He longed for his family during the long hours.
He worried about them during his shifts and the lonely
weekends, holidays and midnights when they were apart.
He felt guilty about the lost time, but knew his calling
and prayed they would understand.
He was a cop.
Although I never met him, I knew him.
He was a good son, a loving husband, and a devoted father.
He was dedicated to the profession and cared about the people he served.
He wanted to do the best job that he could and strive to
be the best he could be.
He was a good citizen and a good neighbor.
He was a cop.
Yes, I did know him.
He was a cop, he was my brother.

- Author Unknown
The Policemen
The policemen
In their uniforms of blue,
In order to protect us
Stand so fast and true.
Though some cry police brutality
The rest of us, though reticent,
Know they do their best
To protect the innocent.
They take in silence the verbal abuse,
Seldom a kind word do they hear.
It's really a shame more of us,
Don't let them know we care!
In these times of social unrest,
All the risks that they take,
And the dangers they face,
How unjust Pig is their namesake.
To all Policemen
In your uniforms of blue,
Trying hard to keep law and order,
I give my salute to you!

- Author Unknown

We Remember the Officers
We remember the officers who changed our lives,
The men and woman who protected us day and night,
People who respect for their dedication to the cause,
For when faced with danger, they never even pause.
We remember the officers who always stood true,
Whatever the color of uniform, brown gray or blue,
With pride and integrity they say To serve and protect,
For the giving of their life, we offer our respect.
We remember the officers who we never really knew,
Persons strong enough to answer the challenge are few,
With heavy hearts we mourn the officers in eternal rest,
There's more to these people than the badge on their chest.

- Author Unknown
Police Officers
They put their lives on the line everyday
These men and women who we should thank
Instead we hurl accusations at them
We yell at them for mistakes we make
We kill them
They have one of the highest stress rates
Suicide rates
Divorce rates
And we have the nerve to beat them down
They save our lives everyday
But all we think about is how they are pulling us over
To give us a ticket, making us late
You are the real-life heroes of our time
Thank you for doing a thankless job
Thank you for making our streets safe
For us, for our kids.
For me.

- Author Unknown

The Journey
At nineteen I began my journey, Down the road I chose.
To be a protector of the rights, Though, danger it would pose.
Just a kid, some would say, wearing that badge and gun.
I promised to uphold the law, Until the job was done.
My Mom and Dad were very proud, Their praise would never stop.
The little blonde haired son they raised, Had chosen to become a cop.
It didn't take long for me to see, What the job was to entail,
The senseless crimes that man commits, That sends his soul to Hell.
Robbery, Rape and Homicide, The victims haunt me still,
I became a part of each of them, Their pain, it seems, I feel.
For many years I walked the beat, Dealing day and night,
With more tragedy than most would see, In their entire life.
I was taught to be the strong one, I could not weep when others cried,
I must be strong and do the job, The emotion I must hide.
I was not to fear as others did, When facing certain danger.
I became accustomed to tragedy, And suspected every stranger.
Don't sit with your back to the door, Don't sleep to sound to hear,
Be prepared for anything, Always keep your pistol near.
Don't back down, Never give up, Don't let them see you sweat.
When finished with the murder scene, The victim's face, forget.
Now I'm haunted by these memories, Children, Women and Men,
I meet them in my dreams at night, I re-live those days again.
No one knows the pain inside, I've learned to hide it well,
faceless victims of a thousand crimes, Each tells an eerie tale.
Images and feelings often return, My memory they stain,
Was there something more I could have done, To help them ease their pain.
Help me God and teach me, To deal with every day,
And thank you Lord for hearing me, Every time I pray.

- Author Unknown
The Life of a Police Officer
You talk about the street gangs; kids killing kids.
You talk about the drugs; people selling, taking and OD'ing.
You talk about the accidents and DUI's:
People dead and dying... I still hear the cries.
You talk about the Rapes; children, mothers, wives and sons.
You talk about the murders; brains, guts, death and blood.
All these things you talk about like
they are happening somewhere else.
All these things you talk about like they
are wars in other worlds.
You see these things like a movie,
or read them like a book.
We live them every day and are still
expected to smile when you look.
You read the papers and you watch the news.
You think that Horror movies are cool.
We live this horror every day; the kids killing kids,
drugs, accidents, murders and rapes.
We see these things every day; parents beating children,
husbands beating wives, people killing people, deaths and DUI's.
To us this is life and we have to remain strong;
because we are the ones that you come to
when something in your life goes drastically wrong.
You see we wear a uniform, though we are not all in the military.
We are a special breed of soldier.
We don't fight in the wars between countries.
We fight to keep ourselves and our Partners alive,
so that we can go home each night to our
husbands, children and wives.
We fight to stay alive while protecting you and yours.
We see our brothers and sisters in blue die each day
by your hand or their own, when they see no way to cope.
And then we try to fight the nightmares
when it is time for us to go home.
We are Police Officers, and this is our life.

- Author Unknown

The Passing
I am not dead, I did not die,
I only passed from earth to sky.
From dark to light, my soul took flight,
Beautiful here, a wondrous sight.
The face of Jesus I can see,
Happy I'll be when you're with me.
The grief you feel will soon subside
And in it's place in you abide.
Belief that I'm free from pain,
And joy that I am well again.
The sweetness of the times we shared,
The laughter, and tears together paired.
The dreams we dreamed, the prayers we prayed,
The I love you's so often said.
These memories ne'er fade away,
But grow brighter as day by day.
God gives you grace to bear the dross,
'till rejoined because of the cross.

- Author Unknown

In the Line of Duty
What is the meaning of In The Line Of Duty
It means that an officer made the Ultimate sacrifice.
It means that someone took an officers life.
A hero has fallen.
Officers who gave their all
To protect and serve us
Have been killed by someone whom they swore
To protect and serve.
It means that their badge will no longer be on their chest
And they will join The Best Of The Best
It means that family and friends are left behind
To deal with the loss of a loved one. Only having the memories of that loved one
Close to their hearts.
Something no one can ever take away.
It means that family members will stand at the officers grave
And wonder why...
Why would someone take an officers life
And leave them there to die?
If we only knew.
Today an officer will place their badge on their chest
To fulfill the dreams of heroes killed
In The Line Of Duty

- Author Unknown
They Raise
They raise their right hand and swear on the book,
They are all so eager, there's no second look.
Their families so proud, a little bit scared,
The servant in blue, this life will be shared.
Shared with the poor, shared with the hurt,
Shared with the helpless, with death they will flirt.
These servants of peace will be kicked and knocked down,
It seems all to common, they work in your town.
They struggle for you at night while you sleep,
These folks wearing blue that you may not meet.
They speed, they take chances, responding to calls,
It may be you mother, or your son when he falls.
It could be you father, his heart stopped that day,
It could be your wife, while you are far away.
I've seen them all quiet when babies have died,
I've seen them break down, and watched as they cried.
And after the course that is finally done,
I've watched as their city put them on the run.
The walked sadly away, not even a glance,
These men and women loved by God, that served not by chance.
Well, I have remembered those serving in blue,
These soldiers who died, working for you.
They die from all causes that you may not know,
It comes to their hearts, their pain does not show.
They die from neglect and hidden abuse,
They make some mistakes, without an excuse.
Whatever their sins that you will not forget,
God loves them much, No price will be set.

- J. Atchison, Retired Officer
A Hallowed Prayer
Our father who art in heaven
be not silent unto me,
Hear the words of my prayer
as I lift up my heart to thee.
My Lord, my God, please protect this man.
Give him the strength to do all that he can.
Give him the understanding he'll need every day.
Bless him with patience in every way.
Give him the courage, the will to survive
all the unhappiness in so many lives.
Oh Dear Father up above,
give him all thy heavenly love.

- Gail C. Berreitter

Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1974 - All Rights Reserved

and may not be duplicated without permission

What Are Policemen Made Of?
A policeman is a composition of what all men are: a mingling of saint and sinner, dust and deity.
Less than one half of one percent of policeman misfit the uniform.
He, of all men, is at once the most wanted and the most unwanted.
He must be such a diplomat that he can settle difference between individuals so that each will think the other won.
But, if a policeman is pleasant, he's a flirt, if he's not, then he's a grouch.
He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints, and above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp - or expect to be sued.
He must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn't hurt.
He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being brutal.
If you hit him, he's a coward; if he hits you, he's a bully.
He must know where all sin is and not partake.
The policeman must chase bum leads to a dead end, stake out 10 nights to tag one witness who saw 'it' happen - but refused to remember.
The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy, and a gentleman.
And of course, he'll have to be a genius - for he'll have to fed and clothe a family on a policeman's salary.

- Author Unknown
In the Simple Performance of Duty
In the simple performance of duty,
he pinned on a badge,
checked his gear with a practiced eye,
and kissed his loved ones good-bye.
In the simple performance of duty,
he reported for work,
joked with his buddies at roll call,
and made his last trip down the squad room hall.
In the simple performance of duty,
he answered the call
to help the helpless, to find the lost,
no matter the danger or how great the cost.
In the simple performance of duty,
he lay down his life,
for those in peril he tried to save,
our brave friend went to his grave.
In the simple performance of duty,
we honor his deed,
as we carry him to rest in a flag-draped casket,
long after the world has forgotten, we shall never forget.
Never judge or regret, what he did, In the simple performance of duty.

- Author Unknown

The Lonely Men
The loneliest man in the world is the one who walks with a gun. The gunman carries his gun outside the law. His arrogance, conceit, vanity are always superficial. He's never entirely unaware of the cold steel bulge at his belt. One day that gun is going to kill him. One way or another his own gun will shorten his life. For the gun fighter, who fights on the side of law and order, it is a little different. He, too, has been set apart from other men by his own choice. He has a special place in society. Try as he might he can never be fully accepted on an equal basis. Even those he is sentenced forever to be on guard. This lawman has the feeling he is forgotten. Even those he is guarding seem so totally unaware of his problems. The policeman goes his way with the usual worries about family, sickness, the youngsters' education and the dentist bill. And on top of this he has to carry through life the weight of that gun. A policeman has been vested with a part of the responsibility and the power of God: to judge men and to terminate human life. For all our legal checks and balances, often the choice must be his. He has the nettlesome physical weight to keep him ever mindful of the terrible psychological weight of that gun. When the gaudy lights are dim in the concrete canyons...when the last gay toast has been drunk to someone's ephemeral pleasure and laughter has departed and the night's refuse has been swept into the can so neatly labeled, Keep Our City Clean...from then on there are none abound but the social culls...the unlovely, the unwanted...and the policeman. Patrolling a beat or serving a warrant or checking traffic he is ever, inevitably, just enough aloof to be alert. The nearest thing to companionship a policeman can ever know is that of another policeman. For these men are linked by the gun which otherwise sets them apart. Each may at any moment risk a precious and irreplaceable life in order to capture a nickel and dime hood who'll get paroled anyway. But the worst part is being alone. A man can get used to his wife's goodnight kiss maybe meaning goodbye. But it worries him sometimes that she has to help carry the weight of the gun...that it sets her apart, too. That's all I had to say. Just in two decades of living very close to the police beat, I have never met a policeman who was paid enough for what you expect of him to do. And if the Republic survives - from somewhere out there on a pinnacle of history yet unreached - tomorrow's historians - looking back - will thank God that we had at least a few of the likes of you on our side.

- Commentary by Paul Harvey
The Job I Do
You can't understand the job I do.
So what's different, you ask, of me than you?
You see the beauty of life each day
and take for granted the part I play.
You can go home and leave your troubles behind,
but I am who I am, no matter the time.
To carry a gun and not to abuse it,
and praying to God I won't have to use it.
Everyday to be willing to risk my life,
wondering if, again, I'll see my children and my wife.
In Blue or Green I'm still easy to see
so there's really never a safe place to be.
When you see danger, you can run and hide,
but I have ethics that I must abide.
To go to work knowing this could be the day
when some crazed lunatic might blow me away.
To care for the injured, to deal with the dead,
is always the part I truly dread.
So what's different you ask of you than me?
I am willing to give my life for you...
Will you for me?

- Author Unknown

Those Who Serve
Blue, Brown, Green, and Tan,
These are the colors we associate with a policeman.
Up in the morning for work it is time,
The job is calling to protect the thin blue line.
The badge goes on after the vest,
Vowing to yourself to do your best.
On the street they test your nerve,
Because they don't trust those who serve.
You say to yourself OH NO not again,
As you listen to the next call coming in.
OFFICER DOWN! are the words that are said,
It continues to echo inside your head.
Adrenaline rushing, your heart is pounding,
You rush to the scene, emotions mounting.
Exiting your car as fast as you dared,
Your friend looks up and says Don't be scared,
The final words said from him,
It's alright to cry because I know you will remember.

- Author Unknown

It's Not the Glory

- Author Unknown
The Judgement
The officer stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shinning, Just as brightly as his brass.

Step forward now, Officer, How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To my church have you been true?

The officer squared his shoulder and said, No, Lord, I guess I aint,
Because those of us who carry badges can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, And at times my talk was rough,
And sometimes I've been violent Because the streets are tough.

But I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep..
Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept an unmanly tear.

I know I don't deserve a place among the people here.
They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.

If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't...I'll understand.

There was silence all around the throne, where the saints often trod.
As the officer waited quietly for the judgment of his God.

Step forward now, Officer. You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on heaven's streets, You've done your time in hell

- Author Unknown
Do Not Judge
Please do not judge them until you have walked a mile in their shoes.
These men and women you are so quick to abuse.
For behind the badge is a Father a Mother that has a family of their own,
they plan to return to when their duty is done.
They miss birthdays and holidays and the list goes on. Just to protect your wife your son.
The pay is bad the days are long and still they put the uniform on.
So think about it if you would, for just a moment if you could,
the horrors they face every day are the ones we pray never come our way.
They hold a child as he dies and comfort the mother as she cries.
And yet you complain about a speeding ticket you obtained.
Many have paid the ultimate price, giving up their life,
to Serve and Protect you and I.
So please get a clue and do not judge them until you have walked a mile in their shoes!
To my one true love who happens to be a Cop!

- Author Unknown

The Officer's Lament
A police officer stood at the pearly gates with face worn and old,
Then meekly asked the man of fate for admission to enter the fold.
What have you done, St. Peter asked, to seek admission here?
I was a Baltimore Police Officer down on earth for many, many a year.
The gates moved open very sharply as St. Peter tolled the bell,
Come in and take a harp, he said, You've had enough of hell!

- Author Unknown

A Good and Wonderful Man
A good and wonderful man died today
But it's not for him, it's for me, that I pray.
For now he's safe, he's home and he's free.
I'm the one left here with just a memory.
Nobody can tell me why he died.
A bullet took his life and the heavens cried.
Did he die for justice? For honor and duty?
I wish someone could explain this to me!
It wasn't his job, it was his life long dream.
To be a part of the force, a part of the team.
For he would stand guard, to serve and protect.
Out of honor, duty, justice and respect.
I always knew it could happen one day
That one should decide, for his job, he must pay.
But to pay with his life-is that really fair?
I wish the murder knew, the depth of my despair.
And that of my children, Family and friends.
Doesn't the murderer know, the pain never ends?
Who am I, you may ask, to write of such strife?
I'm one of many, a proud and grieving, police officer's wife.

- Author Unknown
What is a Cop?
Cops are human [believe it or not] just like the rest of us. They come in both sexes but mostly male. They also come in various sizes. This sometimes depends on whether you are looking for one or trying to hide something. However, they are mostly big. Cops are found everywhere- on land, on the sea, in the air, on horses, in cars, sometimes in your hair. In spite of the fact that you can't find one when you want one, they are usually there when it counts most. The best way to get one is to pick up the phone. Cops deliver lectures, babies and bad news. They are required to have the wisdom of Solomon, the disposition of a lamb, and muscles of steel and are often accused of having a heart to match. He's the one who rings the doorbell, swallows hard and announces the passing of a loved one; then spends the rest of the day wondering why he ever took such a crummy job. On TV a cop is an oaf who couldn't find a bull fiddle in a telephone booth., In real life he's expected to find a little blonde boy about so high in a crowd of half a million people. In fiction, he gets help from private eyes, reporters, and Who dun-it fans. In real life, mostly all he gets from the public is I didn't see nuttin. When he serves a summons, he's a monster. If he lets you go, he's a doll. To little kids, he's either a friend or bogeyman, depending how parents feel about it. He works around the clock, split shifts, Sundays and holidays, and it always kills him when a joker says, Hey, tomorrow is Election Day, I'm off, let's go fishing. [That's the day he works 20 hours.] A cop is like the little girl, who, when she was good, was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid. When a cop is good, he's getting paid for it. When he makes a mistake, He's a grafer, and that goes for the rest of them too. When he shoots a stick up man, he's a hero, except when the stick up man is only a kid, anybody could of seen that. Lots of them have homes, some of them covered with ivy, but most of them covered with mortgages. If he drives a big car, he's a chiseler, a little car, who's he kidding? His credit is good; this is very helpful, because his salary isn't. Cops raise lots of kids; most of them belong to other people. A cop sees more misery, bloodshed, trouble, and sunrises than the average person. Like the postman, cops must also be out in all kinds of weather. His uniforms change with the climate, but his outlook on life remains the same; mostly a blank, but hoping for a better world. Cops like days off, vacations, and coffee. They don't like auto horns, family fights, and anonymous letter writers. They have unions, but they can't strike. They must be impartial, courteous, and always remember the slogan, AT YOUR SERVICE. This is sometimes hard, especially when a character reminds him, I'm a taxpayer, I pay your salary. Cops get medals for saving lives, stopping runaway horses, and shooting it out with bandits [once in a while his widow gets the medal]. But sometimes, the most rewarding moments come when, after some small kindness to an older person, he feels the warm hand clasp, looks into grateful eyes and hears, Thank you and God bless you, son!

- Author Unknown
To Serve and Protect
I would give my life for you in an instant, whether you are a Stranger or Friend. I do not ask what in your life you have done wrong up to this point, I act on instinct to protect and save whether you are a perfect saint or a convicted violent Offender, Because that is my job. I am a Police Officer and When I chose to wear the Badge, I chose to help those in need. Each call I take could be my last. I accept that and each day put on the Uniform and the Badge, I say goodbye to my family as I walk out onto the streets, knowing that today could be the day I don't come home at the end of my shift. You look at me and criticize the choices that I make I am wrong when a felon pulls a weapon and I have to pull my trigger, knowing that if I don't one of you might die in his stead because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The choice I make is a split second one and it is a choice of his life, my partners, yours or mine. That is what I am trained for. I go to a call of Domestic Violence, I walk in and pull a man off of a woman who has been beaten bloody. Yet as I walk him to the door in handcuffs, the same beaten, bloodied woman stabs me in the back, to save the same man that would have killed her only moments before. I go to a call for a car jacking, the suspect comes out with a gun. The same gun he had just used to kill the owner of the car. In a split second, knowing about the life he has already taken I have a choice, take his life, lose my own, lose my partners or lose some one else's because this man has killed before. My choice comes to slowly and my partner falls, a bullet to his head ends his life and widows his new wife. Who of you will mourn his loss as he bleeds to death at my feet? I make my choice, the gunman falls. TV camera's roll in and the Felons family screams that I am the murderer. I am the one who has done wrong, as I look at the ambulance driving my dead partner to the hospital. I go out every day and wonder if today will be my last because I wear a Badge and a Uniform. I protect you and your family, some times at the cost of my own. I protect your life and your property with my fellow Officers who choose to wear the Badge and Uniform. We all made the same choice, the choice to 'Protect and Serve' those in need. We don't ask questions when we have to act to save a life, we act. You mourn the punks and the gang bangers, the murderers, the thieves, child molesters and killers. You mourn the innocents killed in the gang wars, robberies, car jackings and murders. But on the day I don my Uniform and place the Badge upon my chest, say goodbye to my family and the first call I take that day is my last, Who of you will mourn me as they put me to my final rest? Who of you, that I have chosen to 'Protect and Serve' will stand beside my brothers and sisters in uniform and look my family in the eye as they lower me into the cold dark grave?

- Author Unknown

Loving A Police Officer
Watching my love put on his uniform,
I catch the glint off the badge which adorns.
Checking his gun, adjusting his belt,
Anguish begins to build like the other nights I've felt.
I know his job is to protect and to serve,
And my mind knows good men are what the force deserves.
But selfishness enters with matters of the heart and so why him?
To put his life on the line for so many unappreciative women and men.
But that one difference is all he wants to make,
From easing some abuse to giving a lucky motorist a break.
So when his hand reaches for the door to begin his night,
Only God knows what will be his plight.
I can only hope he knows of all my love,
And in another breath say a prayer to God above.
Keep him safe as well as his other fellow brothers,
May they all return to their wives, husbands, and mothers.
But in the night I know a siren will wail,
For the call of duty will always prevail.
Injustice seems to need no rest or sleep,
But instead constantly lurks in the shadows deep.
Nothing matches the feeling at the end of his work day,
When he reaches out to touch me in the bed where I lay.
Peace reaches my soul and I thank God again
For bringing my love safely back to me, our family, and friends.

- Author Unknown
Our Fallen Brother
As I held him close, I began to cry
Wondering and hoping our friend would never die
I could see the whites of his eyes, as he held me tight
The wind whisked through his hair, as we saw the light
He cried no more as we fell to the ground
His one single tear, would never be found
Cry not my friend God will take you home
The Angels in Heaven will not be alone
You're safe and well as a child to his mother
You will always be remembered as OUR FALLEN BROTHER

- Author Unknown

Final Call
An Angel In The Sky Must Leave His Place Of Rest,
Gently Tucking His Wings Beneath His Armored Vest.
For Duty Has Called, There Is Much Work To Do
Little Did He Know, This One Is Dressed In Blue.
Arriving On The Scene, He Knows Just What To Say,
Follow Me, Fallen Brother, I'll Show You The Way.
Your Duty Has Ended, Your Work Is Now Through.
Come Hand Your Hat Beside Mine. I'm A Cop, Too.

- Author Unknown

Blood Upon the Shield
Blood Upon The Shield
Confrontation in an alley. The Centurion does not yield.
But this time the good guy loses;
there is blood upon the shield.
And the mournful sounds of bagpipes
play out across the land,
drowned out by the sobs of a lonely young wife
and a child too young to understand.
While the killer pleads his case in court,
the thin blue line is one man short.
And we're one step closer to society's fall;
another cop's name is engraved on the wall.
Another state funeral, with an army in blue,
and we know it could've been me and it could've been you.
We all look ahead to what the future has in store,
front line troopers in a country that's at war.
At war with itself and at war with its cops and we're
out there every day 'cause the battle never stops.
It's not the way it is on TV shows or like
we learned in school; no cool music in the background, no playing by the rules;
We're disillusioned warriors, but for right we'll always strive.
We just pray that at the end of our stress-filled day we'll get back home alive.
You stand out on the corner ignoring the insults and the stares,
close to the point of believing that no one really cares,
when a six year-old boy walks over after watching
you for awhile, reaching out to shake your hand,
on his face a friendly smile.
To him you are a hero, a protector of our land, and he wants
to learn about you, as a cop and as a man.
And when he asks you why your badge is covered
by an black elastic band,
tell him about our Brother A cop who made a stand.

- Author Unknown
The Badge
He starts his shift each day To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car. A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job 'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday 'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often, The one who’s blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks, To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops 'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun, He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system 'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work, He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car, He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction. He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window, And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license, When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark, Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding. His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones 'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less, But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver, He died doing his best.

- Author Unknown
A Policeman Was Killed Last Night
A policeman was killed last night.
He died while protecting your rights.
His creed was to protect and serve.
This fate he didn't deserve.
A mom and dad have lost a son.
So many other jobs he could've done.
His wife and kids are left alone.
Their daddy won't be coming home.
His fellow officers are hurt so deep.
For a fallen brother they weep.
The morning paper will print a story.
About a policeman who died in glory.
The flags will fly at half mast.
Politicians and citizens will seem sad.
The funeral is tomorrow at noon.
It will all be over very soon.
By next week they will have forgot.
That a policeman was killed last night.

- Author Unknown
I Am the Officer
I have been where you fear to be,
I have seen what you fear to see,
I have done what you fear to do -
All these things I have done for you.
I am the person you lean upon,
The one you cast your scorn upon,
The one you bring your troubles to -
All these people I've been for you.
The one you ask to stand apart,
The one you feel should have no heart,
The one you call The Officer in Blue,
But I'm just a person, just like you.
And through the years I've come to see,
That I am not always what you ask of me;
So, take this badge ... take this gun ...
Will you take it ... will anyone?
And when you watch a person die
And hear a battered baby cry,
Then do you think that you can be
All these things you ask of me?

- Author Unknown

The Creation of Police
When the Lord was creating peace officers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one. The Lord said, Have you read the spec sheet on this order? A peace officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle his uniform. He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day. He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands. The angel shook her head slowly and said, Six pairs of hands...no way. It's not the hands that are causing me problems, said the Lord, It's the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have. That's on the standard model? asked the angel. The Lord nodded and then said, One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, 'May I see what's in there, sir?' (When he already knows and wishes he'd taken that accounting job.) Another pair here in the side of his head for his partner's safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, 'You'll be all right, ma'am,' when he knows it isn't so. Lord, said the angel, touching his sleeve, rest and work on this tomorrow. I can't, said the Lord, I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck. The angel circled the model of the peace officer very slowly, Can it think? she asked. You bet, said the Lord. It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time that it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop...and still it keeps its sense of humor. This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn't sanative to the rights of criminal suspects. Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the peace officer. There's a leak, she pronounced. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model. That's not a leak, said the Lord, It's a tear. What's the tear for? the angel asked. It's for bottled up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the flag, for justice. You're a genius, said the angel. The Lord looked somber. I didn't put it there, he said.

- Author Unknown
Our Brother Has Been Taken
Our brother has been taken and gently laid to rest;
Fate seems so cruel at times to only take the best.
While those who care for no one are left to walk life's street;
Bringing less joy than sorrow to those whose path they meet.
Our brother lives forever if only in our minds;
He'll never be forgotten nor ever left behind.
He'll stand before us always as if to guide our way;
Through all our tasks and duties awaiting us each day.
Our brother has been taken and though we wonder why;
We'll still perform our duties as days then weeks go by.
We'll travel where fate leads, through days of dark or fair;
Until we stand for Roll Call beside our brother there!

- Author Unknown
Don't Give Up
I've known your pain and felt your grief,
I know right now, there seems no relief,
but as time goes by as you know it will,
the memories fade and the wounds heal.
I know its hard to stand and fight,
the dreams, no the nightmares that fill your night.
but don't give in as many do,
hold fast your ground and see it through.
For at the end when the battles won,
when the pain is gone and the war is done.
When the dreams come, only now and again,
you'll find pride in yourself for you fought to win.
If I can right just one human wrong,
if I can help to make just one person strong,
if I cheer with a smile or a song,
Please Lord, show me how.

- Author Unknown
In Saint Michael's Arms
I proudly chose this life of mine,
To wear a badge upon my chest
As a member of this thin blue line,
And serve among our Nation’s best

I’ve walked through blood, and snow and heat,
Pressing the attack
And fought with bandits on my beat,
For those who can’t fight back

I’ve missed holidays and little league games,
To guard the cities here on earth
Offered mine for those without a name,
Because that’s what Freedom’s worth

With warriors who wear a shield,
I’ve fought evil in each town
So the lamb can calmly walk the field,
And with the lion then lay down

I’ve stood tall and straight in a sea of blue,
As a flag draped coffin rolled by
Seen many tears and shed mine too,
As I’ve saluted one final goodbye

Yet for no special treatment will I pray,
Until my final shift is done
When dispatched on that final day,
To meet God’s only son

I ask Dear Lord, oh hear my plea,
As Your strength keeps me from harm
When I’m delivered unto Thee,
May it be in Saint Michael’s Arms.

- Lt. J.D. Ross
The Policeman's Fight
I am a policeman,
And this is my fight.
As I tuck in my family,
And kiss them goodnight.
I take one last look,
Drawing everything in.
For I am not sure,
If I will see them again.

I put on my uniform,
And strap on my vest.
I prepare for the worst,
And hope for the best.
I affix my gun belt,
Make sure all is secure.
I say one final prayer,
For St. Michael to hear.

According to the book of Matthew,
“Blessed are those who keep the peace.”
I confront evil every day,
Just read your local press release.
For I am a Sheepdog,
I protect the flock of sheep.
Against the heinous pack of the wolves,
That harass them when they sleep.

I embark on my shift,
So much work to be done.
Writing reports and citations,
Chasing a felon with a gun.
For each night is different,
Get to experience something new.
Have to stay mentally prepared,
For each crime that I pursue.

The things I have seen,
Would surpass your worst nightmare.
Some things are too horrific,
And too graphic for me to share.
The shear evil that exists,
Is far from decline.
Just be glad there’s a select few,
Who put their lives on the line.

Because the only thing required,
For evil in this world to win.
Is for good men to do nothing,
Which is a far greater sin.
Yet this responsibility comes,
At a great sacrifice.
There’s a permanent target on my back,
Some of us pay the ultimate price.

I’ve lost some good friends,
Sad memories from the past.
Victims of divorce, corruption,
And their families being harassed.
Accidents, suicides,
Depression and PTSD.
I thank God every day,
These things have not happened to me.

Sure, we have our share of corruption,
But it pales in comparison.
To the attorney, the athlete,
The financier and politician.
The numbers speak for themselves,
The research is overdone.
Less than one half of one percent,
Will disgrace our badge and gun.

So be cautious and careful,
Of the stories on TV.
That paint a negative picture,
Of my brothers, sisters, and me.
For we ride the thin blue line,
Making life and death choices every day.
My split-second decisions,
Will be criticized in every way.

But until you walk in my shoes,
And see what I’ve seen.
You can’t possibly imagine,
The stress on my scene.
Although we’re on a pedestal,
We are people just like you.
On the outside we may bleed red,
But deep down we bleed blue.

- Richard White
A Policeman's Story

In 1974 when I first joined the police department, I knew there would be special occasions my family would spend without me. Knowing that fact didn’t make the task any easier. The celebrations I missed those first years depressed me and sometimes made me feel bitter. Working on Christmas Eve was always the worst. On Christmas Eve in 1977, I learned that a blessing can come disguised as misfortune, and honor is more than just a word. I was riding a one man patrol unit on the 4×10 shift. The night was cold. Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of the holiday: families packing their cars with presents, beautifully decorated trees in
living room windows and roofs adorned with tiny sleighs. It all added to my holiday depression mood. The evening had been added relatively quiet; there were calls for barking dogs and a /residential false burglar alarm. There was nothing to make the
night pass any quicker. I thought of my own family without me there with them and I sunk further into depression. Shortly after 2200 hours I got a radio call to the home of an elderly, terminally ill man. I parked my patrol car in front of a simple Cape Cod style home. First aid kit in hand, I walked up the short path to the front door. As I approached, a woman who seemed to be about 80 years old opened the door. He’s in here she said, leading me to
a back bedroom. We passed through a living room that was furnished in a style I had come to associate with older people. The sofa has an afghan blanket draped over its back and a dark, solid Queen Anne chair positioned next to an unused fireplace. The mantle was cluttered with an eccentric mix of several photos, some ceramic figurines and an antique clock. A floor lamp provided soft lighting. We entered a small bedroom where /I saw a frail looking man lay in bed with a blanket pulled
under his chin. He wore a blank stare on his ashen, skeletal face. His breathing was shallow and labored. He was barely alive. The trappings of illness all around his bed. The nightstand was littered with a large number of pill vials. An oxygen bottle stood nearby. Its plastic hose, with face mask attached rested on the blanket. I asked the old woman why she called the police. She simply shrugged and nodded sadly toward her husband,
indicating it was his request. I looked at him and he stared /intently into my eyes. He seemed relaxed now. I didn’t understand the suddenly calm expression on his face. I looked around the room again. A dresser stood along the wall to the left of the bed. On it was the usual memorabilia: ornate perfume bottles, a white porcelain pin case, and a wooden jewelry case. There were also several photos in simple frames. One caught my eye and I walked closer to the dresser for a closer look. The picture showed a young man dressed in a police uniform. It was unmistakably a photo of the man in bed. I knew then why I was there. I looked at the old man and he motioned with his hand toward the side of the bed. I walked over and stood beside him.
He slid a thin arm from under the covers and took my hand. Soon, I felt his hand go limp, I looked at his face. There was no fear there. I saw only peace. He knew he was dying; he was aware his time was very near. I know now that he was afraid of what was about to happen and he wanted the protection of a fellow cop on his journey. A caring God had seen to it that his child would be delivered safely to him. The honor of being his escort fell to me. When I left at the end of my tour that night, the temperature had seemed to have risen considerably, and all the holiday displays I saw on the way home made me smile. I no longer feel sorry for myself for having to work on Christmas Eve. I have chosen an honorable profession. I pray that when it’s my turn to leave this world there will be a cop there to hold my hand and remind me that I have nothing to fear. I wish all my brothers and sisters who have to work this Christmas Eve all the Joy and warmth of the Season.

          - Author Unknown

We Shoot To Live, Not To Kill
Once and a while, someone will ask, Do the police shoot to kill? The simple answer to that question is, No. But, on the other hand, the answer is not so simple. The average citizen cannot possibly imagine how suddenly a routine traffic stop, warrant service, or interview can turn sour. In the movies, the bad guys can be seen planning and calculating their next move and, when the action starts, the cops dive for cover, call back-up, and a gun battle ensues for the next fifteen minutes. The cops and the bad guys chase each other through the streets of the city, firing scores of rounds, and, amazingly, even exchanging taunts. In real life, such a scene almost never happens,- for in real life, the violence explodes without warning, lasts an average of 3.5 seconds, with five rounds being exchanged from a distance of three to seven feet. Think about that... one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three . . . and then it's over. Someone is dead or screaming in agony. If the suspect is down, the officer, with shaking hands, will cuff him and call for an ambulance. If the suspect is bleeding profusely, the officer will try to administer first aid and save the life of the man who just tried to kill him.

Officers have even been known to pray at such moments, pleading with God to spare the assailant's life. If, on the other hand, the officer is on the ground, more likely than not, the suspect will walk over to him, point his still smoking pistol at the officer's head, and pull the trigger. He will then steal the officer's own weapon and flee into the night. An hour or two later, the chief and the chaplain will pay a dreadful visit to the officer's spouse and children. There is no time to talk the suspect down, no time to shoot the weapon out of the bad guy's hand, no opportunity to carefully aim from cover and concealment and fire to wound. Officers are trained to aim for the center mass of the suspect's body and continue to fire until the threat is ended. That cop fired nine bullets! a civilian might protest. He shot too many times! He was out to kill that guy! You weren't there. You have no idea. It wasn't your life on the line. You just don't have a clue. If an officer is inclined to make a mistake, he or she is much more likely to hesitate to shoot for that all-important split-second than they are to fire prematurely.

Most officers have strong moral codes, have an aversion to killing, became cops to help people, and have been well-schooled in how likely cops are to be sued. This hesitation may well result in the officer's death. Criminals who would fire on a police officer have no such moral restraints. They do not hesitate. Police officers and deputies are not trained to shoot to kill. They are trained to shoot to live. They are not, regardless of how much anti-law enforcement types might whine, trying to take a suspect's life. They are simply trying, desperately, in a few terror-filled seconds, to somehow survive the encounter and go home to spouse and family at the end of the shift. They are shooting to live. If they do shoot a suspect, and the criminal dies, cops are more likely than not to have severe depression, to experience sleepless nights, endure post traumatic stress, and be overwhelmed with guilt. He or she will be more at risk than other officers to experience a divorce, become an alcoholic, and take their own life. He will have had 3.5 seconds to shoot to live while the press, the public, and the courts will have years and decades to second-guess the officer and wonder why he didn't shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hand.

I have two sons who are on the streets as police officers. Tonight, they will pull over a car on some dark roadside or will investigate an alarm call. If the moment ever comes, which I pray it does not, I pray that they will respond to their training. I pray that they will not hesitate, no, not for one second. Then, if their life hangs in the balance, I pray that, in that 3.5 seconds of heart-stopping, throat-choking horror, they will shoot to live. I pray their aim will be true. I pray they will come home to their families safe and uninjured. And, then, the next night, and the next, they will face it all over again night after night, year after year. They, and tens of thousands of men and women like them, are cops. It's what they do.

- David Epps
In darkness silence of the night, when all appeared safe and secure.
What this officer had no way of knowing, he was beginning his shift of last tour.

Should have been a routine traffic stop, he advised them not to exit their car.
However they had nothing left to lose, and the shots could be heard from afar.

Things then became so very personal, as his lifeless body lay on the ground.
Then you heard the words that stand still, start me a rescue unit, Officer down.

A mist of glow befell upon the scene, the Archangel in spiritual radiance shone.
Watching over those in the uniform of blue, they are his charges, children of the throne.

While you never took the time to meet him, our heavenly Father knows them all by name.
Their honor, integrity, courage and pride. though none ever sought any glorious fame.

On bended knee, his head bowed low, through tears that had come and gone.
Michael gathered this Officer in his arms, slowly begin the Ascension's journey on.

There at heaven's magnificent gate, was God, waiting for this soul to embrace.
Welcome home my son, my first Police Officer, come now and walk with me in eminent grace.

Copyright © Katherine Raborn, Tamera Price
07/25/2001 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission
to Support the Memorial