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Strength in Loving a Hero | Police Wives Wednesday

by Linda Searles March 10, 2020 1 Comment

The idea for the Police Wives series started to churn in my head while traveling for work to different police departments and going to community events. During my travels, several officers expressed their appreciation for their wives patience and understanding when it came to their demanding work. I heard this same story over and over again that it started peaking my interest, and the desire to know more began to grow. It led me on this journey to reconnect with these officers to ask them if I could reach out to their wives for an interview. I explained that I wanted to find out what it was like to be married to a police officer. Fortunately, they seemed intrigued and supported what I was trying to accomplish. I knew this would be an interesting project but soon realized that the police wives interviews would touch our audience on an emotional level. The stories were relatable and heartfelt and they began to move our audience to act. Comments started pouring in and I started receiving emails from other police wives asking if they could participate in the project. It grew from an idea with a desire to help our blue line families to something bigger than I ever imagined. I am a believer that what comes from the heart goes to the heart and our audience was feeling a connection to these women. 

 

I started interviewing the women for the police wives series over a year ago. I interviewed a total of 11 police wives for Season 1 and what I learned from them was pretty amazing. I thought I had a fairly good grasp of what police work entailed, but had no idea what it was like for these officers behind the scenes and what that meant for the women who loved them. I started out with a basic understanding that law enforcement officers work demanding schedules characterized by long hours, weekends, holidays, and night shifts. As a result, many of them suffer irregular sleep patterns and severe fatigue. Of course, police services are needed 24 hours a day and their work is inherently risky. Law enforcement officers have to face the constant threat of being attacked, wounded or even killed when dealing with suspects or handling other dangerous situations in the line of duty. Sadly, some officers develop mental health issues as a result of working long hours in stressful conditions. I began to learn that many of them suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder {PTSD}. It is reported that some of the classic symptoms of PTSD are the inability to sleep, nightmares, intrusive memories that don’t fade in intensity, physical reactions to places or other things associated with the event, the feeling of always being on guard or feeling numb. As I discovered more about these families, I began to understand how they coped with a lot of these challenges that they were facing. I started to see a common thread among them that helped them hold their families together. It was a bond of love and commitment to each other.

 

As I interviewed these women one by one, they told me how much they loved their husbands and stood beside them while watching them suffer. Many of these officers came home feeling overwhelmed from their work responsibilities and had difficulty letting go. It took time for them to decompress and get into family mode. The women expressed how their husband guarded themselves because they didn’t want to concern their wives with the intricate details of their day but instead wanted to protect them from the bad they had to experience. The wives had similar stories of how they could read their husbands faces the minute they walked in the door and knew almost immediately how their days went. Sometimes their husbands needed more time to transform from being “officer” to being “self.” Switching gears took them time which meant these women had to be patient and strong, relying on their faith to find balance. The women described their husbands work as being satisfying, rewarding, saddening, lonely, and fulfilling all wrapped up in one day. 

 

They reassured me after years of practice they found solutions that helped keep their marriages intact. Some of the women used code words as a warning sign to their husband that they were still in “officer” mode letting them know they needed to come back to “self.” Others gave their husband space, by letting them escape for an hour after they got home from work. Some of these officers had to get out of their uniforms and wash away the day by showering, where others would watch tv or workout. Self care for these women meant allowing themselves to have alone time or getting together with friends. Many of them found solace in chat rooms with other police wives, knowing they would understand their challenges. Most of these women had fulfilling careers and found time to be involved in their communities. They knew going into the marriage would mean spending holidays, birthdays, and going on outings alone. They understood they had to schedule time with their husbands and perform most of the household chores. They felt, at times, that they were raising their children as a single parent. But, they told me they would not change their lives and they were proud of their husbands. They respected their husbands work and everyday gave thanks that they made it home safely.

 

These women have inspired me and now that Season 1 is finished I have started working on Season 2 with a whole new group of police wives who are just as relatable. Their messages will continue to offer hope to so many families who tune in. As the Community Director for Thin Blue Line USA, I will continue to help build bridges that connect us with our community, by bringing you more projects like the Police Wives series. I believe great achievements start with passion. Passion is what fuels everything. Shared passion and shared belief, is what motivates people, it gives them a sense of belonging and excites them about accomplishing the same mission and being a part of a movement. Thin Blue Line USA and the police wives who were interviewed share a very similar mission, and that is to stand beside our officers. BACK the BLUE!

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Linda Searles
Linda Searles

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1 Response

Jo Ann MCLEOD
Jo Ann MCLEOD

March 11, 2020

I hvaetwo in my family that are policemen and there s not a day I don’t think about them. Prayer God keeps them safe. I know how their jobs effect their life and children.

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