As you might have guessed...I am wearing a police uniform in that picture.
I used to be in law enforcement and did that on and off for 10 years.
How or why did I do that? Here is the story:
I dated and married a Yavapai
County Deputy Sheriff when I was 21. We later moved to Coconino
County where he, at the age of 39, made me a widow
just after I turned 26 and 2 days before our 5th
wedding anniversary. (His children were from a previous marriage -- we had none together)
I learned a great deal about law enforcement from him and how to ride a motorcycle. An Arizona Highway Patrol Motor Officer once rode next to me as I was on my way to work. He was in the same lane I was in!! Not a whole lot of room with his big ole bike and me on my 650 Kawasaki. He turned to me after the ride and said I was a very good motorcycle rider! I came to realize that it was a great compliment coming from a person who graduated from the Motorcycle academy.
So, back to why I decided to become one of those people with the ticket book.
I like to give back to the community where I live. I wanted to do something not everyone could do. I found that since I had good credit (yes, that counts), respect for the law and physically fit, I would try out for the sheriff's office AND the city police department in Washington state. I went through the testing (background, psychological, polygraph, physical agility and THE INTERVIEW) and passed for both departments. Now I had to choose which one I was going to join. Mind you, I would have to KNOW the entire area I would work in so I decided to join the city police department as it didn't seem as big as the county.
I went through the 6 month academy while I still worked 40 hours a week. Did I mention, I was not going to get paid for the police position? It is called being a Reserve Police Officer. Your duties and training were the same as a paid officer. Like I said, (I knew) not anyone could or would want to do this and it was my way of giving back to the community.
I made a good name for myself there. I didn't have a chip on my shoulder as many of the female officers I've met did. The Chief and other officers respected me and could count on me.
I loved the white collar crime part of the job with traffic stops second. I very rarely cited anyone for speeding but did cite for no proof of insurance.
I'll never forget one of my first traffic stops. My training officer and I were walking back to the patrol car when he asked me if I believed everything the guy said. When I said I did, he just slowly shook his head and said I had a looooong way to go. My response was, "He lied to me?!!!" That was a hoot! I grew up in the country where a handshake meant something and never thought about people lying. I have come to realize that people who lie are very busy. They have to remember who they lied to and then what they lied to them about. That's a lot of work!
I haven't been in law enforcement now for over 6 years. It was an interesting part of my life to be a part of the "Thin Blue Line" as a widow and an officer.