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The greatest calling: Being a true friend to a brother or sister in blue

We rely on our brothers and sisters in blue because no one else understands us

You didn’t ask for the midnight shift, but you got it anyway. You caught the bad guy, but wrecked a car in the process. You got days off instead of a commendation.

New partner, you don’t like him. New sergeant — don’t like him either.

Maybe you got unfairly passed up for a promotion. Perhaps you are just so beat down with the day in and day out BS of the job you think you’re going to lose it.

But there you are, back at work, out on patrol.

That’s the strange thing about us cops. Maybe we’re unhappy. Maybe we’ve been burned at the office or have been overlooked. Maybe we’ve lost trust in our administration or city council.

Whatever it is, we still always show up.

Something tells you every day when you pin that badge on and look in the mirror that this is more than a job. This is what you were born to do. Through the good and the bad, you are a cop, and you couldn’t imagine doing anything different. There’s still a sense of pride when you climb into your patrol car and head out to your beat.

Could be that’s why we rely on our brothers and sisters in blue — because no one else understands us. We don’t trust anyone else anyway. No one understands our problems, our inner struggles like another cop, because they’ve seen what we’ve seen.

They can relate to what it’s like to go to church on Sunday and some well-to-do asks us how many donuts we ate and how many speeders we caught this week.

But even then, it seems we still bury our problems in other vices and hobbies because we don’t want to show our brothers our weaknesses.

Can I suggest a new vice? How about a friendship? We all act like Billy Bad Asses, like nothing bothers us, but someday, at some point in your career, you will need a friend.

Not a lunch partner, or golf buddy, but a real, true friend, that no matter what you are going through, he’s gonna have your back till you see it through. And you WILL see it through, whatever it is that you are struggling with, because you are a cop, and cops don’t quit.

Maybe you are reading this article right now, and you think I’ve become soft, or there’s no place for talk like this. Or perhaps you haven’t been drug through enough mud and muck to be beat down and down trodden. Or maybe you’ve been through so much of it you are numb.

That’s your prerogative.

But maybe there’s a brother or sister in blue who is struggling right now that needs a little pick-me-up, a little encouragement that no matter what, there’s someone out there in uniform who cares about them.

We have a very difficult job. We have to put everyone else’s problems ahead of our own problems and struggles every day when we come to work. We are always willing to help someone in need — that’s what makes us different, and that is why we do it.

We’ve been given this calling in our lives, and we’ve answered that call. But maybe you need to call a friend sometime who will listen, and being a true friend to a cop could be the greatest calling ever.

If you ever get that call, you might want to lend an ear and listen.

Stay safe out there — you deserve it.

Lt. Hawkes is a 23-year police veteran. In addition to his years of highway drug interdiction, Lt. Hawkes has worked in patrol, K9, investigations, narcotics, and administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Dallas Baptist University and is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Justice Leadership and Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has been the recipient of both State and Local awards, including the Medal of Valor. His book, Secrets of Successful Highway Interdiction, which can be purchased here, contains eleven chapters on Highway Drug Interdiction.