Sunday, July 24, 2011


The boat I wish we could provide for our seasonal officers
Our state hires "seasonal" officers. These are usually college age people (usually guys) who are hired to patrol the water and the various atv parks throughout the state. I am the direct supervisor of three seasonals- two water and one atv.

Here is the thing...we give them a canister of OC, handcuffs, and a radio (that may or may not work) and send them on their way to perform law enforcement duties. Is it just me, or does this seem like a tiny liability? Therefore, I find myself becoming a mother hen to these boys. I worry about them. I bake them cookies. I call in to check on them. I insist they call me if they run into any problems, and I require that they work together on the water, especially at night.

Tonight I was sitting out in the yard watching my kids play when I got a call from one of my seasonals. He was alone (the other officer was at a funeral today), and had someone stopped on the water. When he ran the boat operator's driver's license through state radio dispatch, he found out that the guy who had a warrant for his arrest. My officer was understandably a wee bit nervous. He had no clue what to do. I told him to call the communication center and find out what the warrant was for, where the warrant was out of, and whether the person had a history of violence.

He called me back about two minutes later and said that his guy had a history of assaulting peace officers. Just when I tried to respond, I him begin talking to someone else in the background. Then he began yelling. Then the line went dead.

I leapt from my lawn chair, ran into the house, grabbed my vest, my gunbelt, and my radio and headed for my truck.

And then comes the part where it is hard to be a  mom and a law enforcement officer...Chatterbox began wailing. Here was mommy sitting in the lawn watching her play one minute, and the next I'm running in a panic for my truck. She followed me in the house bawling, and screaming that she wanted to give me a hug and a kiss. Of course, I snap at her and tell her that "MOMMY HAS TO GO! RIGHT NOW!"

But Chatterbox didn't give up. She insists on a hug, a kiss, and a butterfly kiss, and a "don't let the bedbugs bite etc etc etc." I tried my best to give her a hug on the run. But it broke my heart to leave her there with tear stained cheeks and confused. Normally when I leave for work I take the time to let her go through her routine. If I don't come home, I want her to know that the last thing she did was kiss me and tell me that she loves me. But all I could think about was my boy, alone and in trouble.

I took off down my street with my sirens blaring. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw my sweet four year old daughter standing on the sidewalk. Crying and waving. I knew that she was probably crying because I didn't wave back. Her normal goodbye routine was shattered.

Luckily, my seasonal officer is ok. A couple county deputies and a Corps of Engineers Ranger arrived before me and took the wanted person into custody.

My officer went home in one piece. And my daughter is asleep in bed. And I still feel bad.


  1. Well written, sensitive subject, post. That was a very tough position to be in, I think you handled it as well as you could of. Someday your daughter will be of age that you can have a heart to heart talk with her to explain some of those missed moments. Glad everything pretty much worked out. By the way, I am really enjoying reading your posts. I have added your blog to my blog roll on my blog. Any chance of getting added to yours?

  2. No problem Mel, I'll add you to my list...thanks for reading.

  3. That had to be tough. It was an understandable situation. Your daughter will understand one day.

  4. BTW, I introduced my wife to Motherhood WTF, Now I know whenever she's reading it because I hear these super loud laughs while she's on the computer.

  5. Motherhood WTF is a hilarious blog. She is very good at finding things that any mother can relate to but doesn't want to say out loud. Wish I could get added to her blogroll!

  6. As the son of a father who put in 35+ years in law enforcement, I remember as a youngester wondering why he couldn't be there every Christmas Eve or other holidays. Years later, I understood, with pride. Hopefully, Chatterbox (and Towhead) will also feel that way down the road.

  7. Exceptionally well written post about the difficulties of being a mother with a dangerous and unpredictable job. Also a great way to show what the "seasonal" workers are facing.
    I really love your blog and one of my retire LOE friends does too! I think he's e maled a link to everyone he knows!
    Keep up the great posts - they are often the highlight of my day :)

  8. I applaud you for your devotion to duty. Been there and done that. I hope your partners appreciate what you give up every time you leave your home and kids to back them up. This kind of story kind of fires me up...

  9. Wow, that's a tough deal, having to take off like that. Poor kids, but they'll understand, down the road.

    Glad everything turned out alright. I can only imagine the size of your eyeballs as your help told you that the subject was known for assaulting peace officers!

    Good read. New follower.

    (BTW- I know yours is a mostly-thankless job and you probably put up with a lot more guff than you dish out. Thanks for the service you provide for the rest of us. Stay safe.)

  10. Thanks for reading LOAH! And thanks for following. I'm just glad my summer guy was ok!