No Longer Ashamed
by Officer Dan Potts
I first started as a cop in 1980 when I became a deputy sheriff. Two years later, a fellow officer was killed in a car accident involving a state trooper while both were in route to the same call. That was very difficult for me and I soon left the sheriff's department to become a paramedic. Talk about adding fuel to the fire.
I spent the next six years seeing death and devastation most people can not even imagine. The grand finale came in the form of a major airline crash. We lost over one hundred people on that dreadful day. As a matter of fact, there was a movie made about that particular crash due to the amount of people that survived and how we had prepared for just such an event.
I thought I was about as seasoned as any one could be, only to realize over the next few years how wrong I really was. I could no longer function in that capacity, so I returned to law enforcement.
Well ten years and multiple therapy sessions later, I have been made to realize it would be in my best interest to get off the streets. I have decided to give up the job I love and take a position as a Court Security Officer with the USMS. Personal contact of the type we all deal with is pretty minimal, so I should be able to handle that OK.
With the experience I have had, the best advice I can give is to do your best to deal with what ever feelings you may have and seek out what ever professional assistance you might need. All the attempts to be macho, strong, cool or what ever excuse you might use will only tear you apart in the long run.
I am no longer ashamed to admit the feelings I have become accustomed to over the years, and can only hope my thoughts will serve to let others know that we are, afterall, just human.© 1999 Dan Potts