The Price They Pay
What is The Price They Pay? Many police spouses, family, and friends, they know the answer to this question. But for those who aren’t close to someone in law enforcement, you may not know.
Wouldn’t you think that after looking at dead bodies, abused children, and senseless violence day in and day out that it would catch up with you? Yet we don’t give it a second thought when our law enforcement has to do the same. Don’t you think it might take just a little piece of you every time a beautiful child loses their life to abuse, sexual assault, and violence? I can only tell you that after seeing one tragic situation, I would be out of there.
Karen Solomon, the author of Hearts Beneath the Badge, writes about the humanity of the law enforcement officer by telling the all too real stories of men and women who go out each shift with little more than some Kevlar and a gun to protect themselves. But what protects their hearts and minds after witnessing another tragedy?
Many police (deputy, highway patrol, officer, RCMP, or whatever you happen to call them) departments have very little protocol after one of their own is a participant or witness to death and violence. They might have to be off-duty for an investigation or they may return to their shift, but there’s very little being done to help them process what they’ve seen or done. Don’t even get me started on what support there is for an officer or family after a serious injury occurs. For many officers, they are retired and forgotten after giving their health for the job.
Karen and co-writer Jeffrey M. McGill introduce the reader to a new term – Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI). The Price They Pay is PTSI, which may lead an officer to self-abuse or, worse, commit suicide.
They think that they should be able to handle those thoughts, feelings, or whatever on their own and without someone they can talk to who understands what they’re seeing and being a part of, the only way some can make the pictures, words, and violence go away is with a bullet in their own head. Some can’t tell their spouse what they’ve seen because they don’t want to subject them to the horrors of the job.
The Price They Pay is a difficult book to read. I’m not going to lie to you. I picked it up and put it down many times before I could finish it. It breaks my heart to read about our men and women working the streets now. The same officers, who are called upon for help just so they can be executed for sport these days.
Our law enforcement officers do what many other men and women can’t or won’t do all while trying to maintain their own sanity and humanity. Read The Price They Pay. When you’re done reading it, go thank a cop. Buy them a cup of coffee. Let them know that you appreciate the price they pay to keep you and yours safe.
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