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20 signs you’re a veteran police officer’s spouse

A police officer’s spouse will adopt rather unique traits and skill sets


Author Dan Marcou pictured with his wife.

Photo/David J. Marcou

Law enforcement is a unique profession. As a result, the longer a man or woman is a police officer, the more skills, attributes and sometimes eccentricities they take on. A police officer’s spouse will also adopt rather unique traits and skill sets.

Here are 20 signs that you are a veteran police officer’s spouse:

1. You work opposite shifts and have a bed that is in use as many hours a day as the bunk in a submarine … primarily for sleeping.

2. It seems as normal to have pizza or a burger at 8 a.m. as it is to have scrambled eggs.

3. When you walk into a bar, restaurant or even a grocery store and your spouse turns and says, “Uh oh, we’re outta here,” you nonchalantly turn and leave with no questions asked.

4. You give your spouse a hug as they leave for work with an extra pat for a vest check, because you know that, whether your spouse works in Motor City or the Cheese Curd Capital of the World, anything can happen anywhere.

5. You have never had to fight crowds for a table at a restaurant to celebrate Valentine’s Day, because you have not celebrated that holiday – or any other holiday – on the actual date for 10 years … and you don’t mind.

6. You are familiar with more acronyms than any of your friends, like: DT, ER, FOP, DWI, ROD. You have even caught yourself (just once on a really bad day) warning the kids to, “Quiet down, because if I have to come in there you’ll be DRT.”

7. You realize you are their “one and only,” because you are the one and only person allowed on their gun side.

8. You have mastered the subtlety of the one-hand-high-hug to bypass the concealed Glock.

9. You have no medical training, yet you can perfectly execute the post-emergency room care for a concussion, stitches, road rash and even human bites.

10. Forget about Disney, your pre-teen kids attend sleepovers wearing oversized Torch Run and Polar Plunge T-shirts for pajamas.

11. You received a scanner from a thoughtful relative as a present some time ago, but you have never taken it out of the box, because it is easier not knowing.

12. You have at some point engaged in a thousand yard stare at your spouse’s thousand yard stare and did not even have to ask, “What are you thinking, sweetheart?”

13. You have learned to appreciate cop humor.

14. Not only do you know nine – no, 10 – hyphenated insults that end with the word “bag,” but you also have acquired the skill of doubling that vocabulary by merely replacing the word “bag” with “ball.” You also have your personal favorite and directed it – under your breath – to that guy who stole your parking spot at Target yesterday.

15. You manage to fake laugh at the comment from non-police friends, “Does your spouse ever bring the handcuffs home?” even though you have heard it hundreds of times before.

16. On the other hand, you have to fight the urge to slap the spit out of anyone who cracks a donut joke, but you are not quite sure why.

17. You know on a cop’s wages there’s no living paycheck-to-paycheck unless some of the time worked was on the “big clock.”

18. You know what “big clock” means.

19. You also are familiar with “I got your six” and have come to realize how important it is to your police officer spouse that you always have had their six, even though they will never be able to adequately put that emotion into words.

20. You have discovered the best tonic for a rough shift is to go arm and arm with your spouse into the children’s rooms and just quietly hold each other while you watch them sleep.

As a veteran police officer’s spouse, it is important to stay safe, stay strong and stay positive – remember that they are better with you than they could ever be without you.

Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. Marcou’s awards include Police Officer of the Year, SWAT Officer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Domestic Violence Officer of the Year. Upon retiring, Lt. Marcou began writing. Additional awards Lt. Marcou received were 15 departmental citations (his department’s highest award), two Chief’s Superior Achievement Awards and the Distinguished Service Medal for his response to an active shooter. He is a co-author of “Street Survival II, Tactics for Deadly Encounters,” which is now available. His novels, “The Calling, the Making of a Veteran Cop,” “SWAT, Blue Knights in Black Armor,” “Nobody’s Heroes” and Destiny of Heroes,” as well as his latest non-fiction offering, “Law Dogs, Great Cops in American History,” are all available at Amazon. Dan is a member of the Police1 Editorial Advisory Board.

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