Stay Strong. Be Safe. Come Home.”

 

The words above may be simple, but have so much meaning. My dad is a Police Officer and has been for more than 20 years. His dedication and passion can be seen not only while he’s at work, but at home as well. It takes an incredibly strong person with so much determination and compassion to put on that uniform everyday and head to work, knowing he might not come home. He’s taught me how to be strong, how to be kind and compassionate and most importantly how to throw a mean punch and a swift kick to any man’s groin who tried to hurt me.

I always get asked, “How was growing up with a dad who was a Police Officer?”, “Has he ever shot someone?”, “Does he tell you all the cool stories?”. Being the sarcastic person I am, I have to bite my tongue to refrain from getting myself in trouble. To answer those questions, yes my dad has told me stories and no, not all of them were “cool” some were heartbreaking and disturbing, yes my dad has shot someone but only because his and his partners lives were in danger and growing up with a dad who is a Police Officer, I didn’t know any different. He was just my dad and did anything any other dad would do, the only difference being that he worked a range of long shifts and wore a bulletproof vest and badge to work. What people don’t realize is the family I gained because of my dad’s career choice. Those men and women became my aunts and uncles, the people who showed up to my birthday parties, school events, the ones who have attended my graduations and most importantly the ones who have seen me grow into the person I am today and helped solidify my appreciation for those in Law Enforcement.

When I was little I knew that my dad’s job was dangerous but didn’t truly understand what he went through everyday until I got older. My dad has always been my best friend, my hero and my number one supporter. So everyday when he’d get ready for work I would try my hardest to make sure he wasn’t able to go; whether it was clinging to his leg for dear life, tying the laces to his boots together in a zillion knots and on the rare occasion throwing his gun belt into my pool. The fear of something happening to him was always in the back of my mind, and became more prominent as I grew older.  

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Elementary school was a breeze and issues very seldom arose about the fact my dad was a cop. All my classmates found it “cool” that he was a Police Officer especially when he’d show up to school in his uniform just to have lunch with me or for school events. My dad was awesome that way, even though he had work, he always found time to come to my school events and tried to make my childhood as normal as possible. My middle school years were a different story, the kids were less accepting of what my dad did for a living and as a result I didn’t have many friends. Most my lunches were spent eating with the Resource Officer and my weekends were spent with my grandma because my dad was working undercover cases and didn’t know when he’d be able to come home. As I grew older and high school came around it became more apparent the stigma that came along with being a cops daughter and cops in general. They always assumed I was either a “goodie two shoes” or a “rebel who got away with everything,” the truth being I didn’t. I actually was held to a higher standard than most, getting away with lying was absolutely impossible and disappointing my dad was soul crushing. To this day I’m still held to those standards. They assumed all cops are “pigs” and are bad people, the truth being they aren’t. Just like anything else in this world there is good and there is bad, people unfortunately only choose to see the bad and what the media decides to show.

Today I still feel the way I always have and I couldn’t be more proud of who my dad is and what he does. His choice of a career has saved countless lives, and made him not only my hero but one to many others as well. The acts of senselessly killing those men and women in Law Enforcement breaks my heart, it makes my heart hurt for their families, their friends and their fellow Officers. People don’t realize how it feels to have your heart sink into your stomach when you hear there was a Police involved shooting, the sheer panic that goes through your mind and the sigh of relief when your dad finally answers his phone after the 100th time you call him and lets you know he’s okay. You don’t see the look on those Officers faces when they can breath knowing their fellow brother or sister is safe and how it effects them when they find out a fellow Officer has been hurt.

To Law Enforcement Officers – Stay Strong, Be Safe, Come Home.

 

Kilee Stepper

  • Elle Butler

    So amazing!!

  • Alli

    Love this! ❤😊

  • Amanda

    Love our officers! Your dad is wonderful and you should be proud 💙

  • Amy

    Loved it Kyle! You brought a tear to my eyeball 🙂

  • Tammara

    Outstanding! You are absolutely correct about EVERYTHING you have said. I feel the same way for the men and women in law enforcement to stay strong, be safe and come home!

    • The Muller family.

      Has to be a special, loving, caring person, to put on a vest, a badge and a gun and go on the streets everyday to protect people and never knowing if he’s going to go home to his family at night. God bless these special officers, and thank you for keeping us safe.

  • Emily Malone

    I’m in tears reading this. Many of the things I experience on a daily that no one understands was portrayed in this blog and it feels amazing to know I’m not the only one. This is very inspiring and I extremely appreciate the time that was taken to put this out for people to see! It may be hard being a cops kid with friends who don’t understand but at the end of the day I wouldn’t ever actually change it! Thank you so much for writing this!

  • Sammi

    Beautifully written. I hug my cousin and uncle hug as thought its I everythime Isee them not knowing if that will be the last time I will see them . Be safe come home.

  • Jody

    From one daughter to another, thank you for sharing. So much truth! Thank him for his amazing dedication! Back The Blue, family forever!

  • Chris Jambor

    What a great tribute to your father and to police officers everywhere. There has been so much turmoil in the law enforcement community in the past few years and it is so important to see the human side of people and professions.

    Your candid style and walk down memory lane was really poignant. I can remember a general fear/awe of police officers when I was young and I definitely remember the shift I saw in my peers as we moved into adolescence. Police officers definitely got a bad rap, merely because their job is to make sure people are safe, but to many kids/teens, they are representatives of the authority and these kids/teens want to rebel against authority. I can’t imagine how isolating that was.

    I think you did a fantastic job honoring your father’s profession, explaining your viewpoint, and commenting on the culture of division that arises when a police shooting occurs. These are difficult topics and I think you managed to comment on them with poise and grace. If I could give one piece of “criticism” … I wish it was longer! I think you have a lot more to say and you may have held back a little bit. You have a great story that the world could really benefit from hearing.

    Thank you for sharing. Congrats on the post.

  • Meg

    This was an amazing piece and a perspective that is so important. The work that police officers like your dad do every day to keep us safe is work that is overlooked and not always recognized like it should be. Without them to protect us, I don’t want to know what our communities and cities would look like. As a daughter of a police officer, you did a phenomenal job of humanizing the badge. Your vulnerability is what really drove the piece home. When I read this, I felt the agony and the anxiety that must have existed in your heart from such a young age, alongside you when he would leave for work every day. That constant worry of for our loved ones health and well-being in everyday life is something that exists in the back of everyone’s minds, but when your loved one -your dad, is the one protecting people so the worries in the back of the minds of everyday people don’t come true, that worry is 10X more heightened. Your story and all that you go through and have gone through everyday of your life is the definition of strength. Thank you for sharing that strength through your vulnerability with the world.

    As far as more hard feedback is concerned, I agree with Chris when he says he wishes it was longer! I also felt like you were holding back and that you have so much more to say! I feel like if you wrote about this topic even further, it would be so powerful, especially in this day and age. You give a unique perspective behind the badge with a voice that is worthy of being heard. Well done.