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Thoughts from a Cop
submitted by Officer Mike Johnson*

I've been working patrol now for over twelve years. I can tell you that in my mind suicide is just like any other type of death. I guess I've seen so many of them my thinking is conditioned. You can only see so many brains on the ceiling before you sort of shut down and it just stops affecting you. Kids are the worse. It used to really bother me in the beginning but I am used to it now. There are times when I think Yeah, I could do that. When things are bad at work with supervisors that won't work with you, then going out in the streets and people treat us without respect. It gets to be frustrating after the many times I have put my life in danger. Sometimes after a dangerous situation, I look back and think I should've been killed. I should be dead but I'm not. Working the streets, we see most of the bad stuff going on. I am a different person than I was twelve years ago. I don't have much faith in people. Most of the people I see are not very pleasant. And I'll tell you it's hard not to bring that back home with you. Sometimes I get attitude from a bad shift. But you can't understand what I'm saying unless you're a cop. It's very hard to explain some of the thoughts that go through my mind. They make no sense to me when I see a kid all beat up and then the parents are let off later. I wonder about the justice there. I wonder about the guy who was decapitated when his car crashed into a tree, and then realize he's the same fellow that pulled a knife on me a year before. How should I feel about that? Yeah, we see this sort of things all the time. But somebody's gotta do the job and somebody's gotta see the crime and the ugly scenes that go with it, right? So might as well be me. We go out later and have some beers and laugh about gross stuff you don't want to hear because that is how we deal with it. It is the only way we know how to deal with it. We don't like to talk about this seriously because we might not want to deal with that reality. I did think seriously about it all a few times and I'll tell you that dwelling on it will only make you want out -- out of life. And that's why there is a problem with cops killing themselves, because we all have our personal problems but on top of that us cops have all this extra shit that makes the world a very ugly place to want to live in. You may think this is strange but most cops really love the job. Even when you think you want to die or whatever, and you know how bad it's going to be tomorrow, we still like what we do. I guess you could say we love the job but hate the feelings that we don't know what to do with. Anyway, I wish you luck with your mission. Feel free to post this letter but please do not include my real name or email. Thank you.

*Mike Johnson is an assumed name to provide the officer privacy.