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Message from a Police Officers Wife

This week, I have turned over my blog to Nicole Carnegie who eloquently expressed what many of us are feeling. Without further ado, here is Nicole's message:


My husband has had 4 critical incidents in the past 3 years, so our family is very familiar with the emotions that can be experienced during these difficult times. Just a warning - it's long! As I sit here in tears after viewing the video memorial of yet another one of my husband’s brothers in blue, the second one this month actually, I am racked with emotion. My heart aches for the families that are left behind. The loss of a husband, a father, a son, a nephew, an uncle, a friend, a fellow officer. How to we even begin to express our condolences? Their loss is so immeasurable, so life changing, so final. When we, the families of police officers say goodbye to our loved ones before shift, we say things like “Stay Safe” and “I Love You.” The truth of the matter is that these brave men and women are going to work with the sole purpose of helping others and keeping the public safe. We are lending the public our husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, son and daughters so that in their time of need they have someone rushing to their sides to help them, to keep them safe, to make a horrible life changing event just a little bit less daunting to handle. The problem for us is that when they return home to their families, they are never the same person. How can an individual not be changed and affected by the constant loss of life, the abuse and neglect, and the tragedies that they witness? It is impossible. Every single experience that these officers have, every call they respond to, every tragedy they witness, every family member they console, every time they must use force, this stays with them. It does not magically go away! They must struggle to compartmentalize this pain, this trauma, this constant negativity in order to survive. For some, the pain is too great. We the families of these officers are at home eagerly awaiting the return of our loved one. We look forward to the two weekends per month that we can spend together as a family, we look forward to eating dinner together less than 50 percent of the time, we look forward to sleeping soundly at night not constantly worrying about our loved one who is out there working. I am sure that this expectation also puts pressure on our officers. Pressure to hide their pain, pressure to put on a happy face, because let’s face it – one wouldn’t generally choose to do this job if they didn’t genuinely care for others. This year has been hard. Hard for everyone. We have all made sacrifices for the collective good of society. The media has done a good job at focusing on the negative, and those that do not respect their jobs and abuse their power. They have also done a good job of telling one side of the story and showing one half of the video footage. Instead of focusing on the good, what positive things are being done during this global pandemic, all we hear is NEGATIVE press. Constant criticism, ill informed suggestions, judgement, hate. So – what does this do to our already tired and emotionally affected officers? They lose sleep, they lose self-worth, they question why they chose to do this exceedingly difficult job – and all of this while they are still expected to show up, be strong, help others, save lives. So, in closing I leave you with this: When I watched the video remembrance of both officers who have been lost recently, I felt overwhelmed with grief and empathy for the families and fellow officers affected by the loss of their loved one and brother in blue. I also felt very connected to their pain. But mainly, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. What a beautiful display of respect, love and unconditional support shown by the members of the WPS during these exceedingly difficult times. Their professionalism and true dedication to their police family is unmeasurable. Thank-you for your service. Some of us do see you, do appreciate you, and are glad that you are only a phone call away always. Respectfully, Nicole Carnegie

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