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A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

I was watching Fox News the other day and saw a story about a cop in the northeast helping some kids fix a bike. I became a bit irritated, thinking to myself, “This is news?” What the officer did was good, don’t get me wrong. I became irate because growing up, my dad did these things all the time. I never thought twice about it. After seeing that story, I saw videos of funeral procession for the officer in Shreveport who was killed in the line of duty. All I know is he was responding to a domestic violence call, a bad guy with a gun. Then a headline about an officer-involved shooting elsewhere. I read the article, it turned out to be nothing about the shooting, but the alleged epidemic of police shootings . . .

Growing up as the son of a cop, I always knew he was a good guy with a gun. He also preached that the only good form of gun control is the four rules every gun owner should already know. He was always prepared for any situation. On patrol, he carried and was proficient with his Beretta 96, his Remington 870 and his Bushmaster AR-15. He carried a copious amount of ammo. This was not in the interest of intimidation, control or provocation…his beat was almost 500 square miles and backup could be hours way. Going black on ammo is no way to lose a gunfight. He had a wife and kids at home that relied on him.

My dad worked swing shifts, from roughly 1600-0200. I did not have the opportunity to traditionally greet my father at the end of the day. It became routine for me to wake up and walk to the garage to make sure his truck was there before I did anything. This may sound irrational, but every time I opened that door, I had my own celebration. Families of law enforcement officers may identify with me.

I admired my fathers work, although he expressed his distaste for the bureaucracy of working in a government institution, he used it as motivation to do the best he could for the people he served. My admiration led me on a separate path; to a an organization that is equally bureaucratic. I joined the Army. I wanted to be a Paratrooper. I wanted to lead soldiers into Combat. I did. I was a good guy with a gun.

In the eight years I have been in the Army, I have been near death in training and combat, to include being awarded the Purple Heart while in Afghanistan. My father retired a year ago. In thirty-two years of protecting life and property, he drew his firearm on countless occasions, but he never took a life. Up until the day he retired, I lived with the fear that the garage door would open and his truck would not be there.

I am one of the lucky ones.

I see a lot of people on these blogs that have no affiliation to police or the military other than maybe having a bad experience. Or the “Well… I know a guy” types. I see a lot critics and opinions on what they would do and refer to cops as “gangs with badges”.

People ask me all the time, what would you do? I don’t know if it’s a trap to get me to say something out of line. I don’t know if it’s because they think my training makes me more qualified than civilian or police good guys with guns. I say, I don’t know what I would do. All I say is, “My mom taught me to never judge a book by its cover. My dad taught me discretion and to make every round count.” The good guys with a gun who I know, who have stopped bad guys with guns more than once, would agree…no situation is equal or outcome the same.

I don’t care if you are a tough guy or gal on social media or a blog. That is your Firstst Amendment right. I’m glad we have blogs like TTAG to help preserve the Second Amendment.

But before you start criticizing the officer or the institution, put yourself in my shoes. Remember, while America is celebrating the viral video of an officer doing a good deed, mourning an officer killed in the line of duty, outraged because a possible bad egg made the wrong decision, someone somewhere is making sure the truck is in the garage.

– The Son of a Cop

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87 Responses to Making Sure Dad’s Truck Is There

  1. Extremely well written. I hope the writer doesn’t remain anonymous. I would like to see more if his work in the site.

    • Totally agree, this was one of the few contest articles I read every single word of. Great topic and well told.

    • Me too. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. As an Army and LEO veteran, I can’t begin to explain to you how frustrating it is trying to convince some of my friends how unqualified they are to judge a deadly force encounter. I usually end up telling them something to the effect of; until you’ve in a position where you’ve pointed a gun at another human being, and made the decision to pull the trigger, you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

  2. Unfortunately, in America today it seems a police officer doing a good deed is more newsworthy (and by implication rarer) than the ones who do bad … unless they do so spectacularly.

    I won’t speculate about what that means for, or about, today’s America.

    I thank you for your service, and your father for his, and am glad you always found the truck.

    • @John L: I think the main problem is that the News is all about sensationalism and selling ads. So, we only hear about the bad cops, the extreme situations and so on. I am sure there are many good, honest cops doing their jo every day. The reason that the bad ones make the news is because they are typically the exception rather than the norm. To the Author of this article: Glad your dad made it home every morning and thank you for your service to our country.

      • You know the saying “If it bleeds it leads” There hundreds of thousands of LEOs that spend an entire career without ever pulling their weapon out of the holster. Just like DGU without firing a shot often goes unreported, there are LEOs that do take Protect and Serve to heart.

        Very interesting article!

  3. I don’t hate cops-just bad ones. I just got done reading about Ferguson Oath Keepers being condemned by the police-doing the job the po-leece have failed to do. Your dad sounds like a good guy.My dad was a good guy too-he sold insurance,loved my mom and took care of his family(and took me shooting on occasion). Oh that we had more police who “served and protected”…

  4. Dear Anonymous –

    Retirement. Going from overdrive to park, can have serious consequences on the heart.

    Make sure Pops gets regular check ups, so he can soak that retirement for as long as he can.

    As a Veteran, and member of society, thank you both for your service, to your country, and community.

    God Bless!

    • He should find something fun to do. Perhaps woodworking, or teaching. Maybe machining. But something. Anything is interesting if examined closely enough.

  5. Like every issue out there, this one isn’t black or white. Much like the the press reporting dgu’s vs mass shootings, the cards are stacked against the good guys with the guns when it comes to the headlines. That creates and perpetuates the narrative. There are definite problems that need to be addressed but making all cops the enemy (especially those that identify as Potg like some of the commenters here on TTAG) will lead to a self fulfilling prophecy.

  6. “I was a good guy with a gun.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Murdering Afghans who don’t like the US government invading their home doesn’t make you a good guy, brah. No doubt plenty of Soviet spetsnaz and paratroopers had the same stupid delusion.

    Note the pervasive use of “good guy” and “bad guy”. The distillation of complex issues into kindergarten words. If the government is good at anything, it’s propaganda.

    • Willy, is that you?

      You learned how to change your username! Wow! Such a big boy … We’re all so proud of you!

    • Oh please enlighten us as to your government service. We’d all love to be regaled with tales of your daring-do. However, I’m going to bet you own a fedora and wear a neckbeard.

    • Good riddance aka blaine cooper aka sexual tyrannasaurus aka waco biker is a well known troll on this site.

      Please do not feed the troll. It’s like trying to teach a pig to dance. It covers you in pig sh*t and angers the pig.

    • Hey, at least Soviets fought for a secular government. When US took over Afghanistan, a new constitution was made up, which says:

      *drumroll*

      “The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam”

      “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.”

      Oh, and then just to nail it:

      “The provisions of adherence to the fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam and the regime of the Islamic Republic cannot be amended.”

  7. “I was watching Fox News the other day and saw a story about a cop in the northeast helping some kids fix a bike. I became a bit irritated, thinking to myself, β€œThis is news?” What the officer did was good, don’t get me wrong. I became irate because growing up, my dad did these things all the time. I never thought twice about it.”

    You were lucky in that your dad was that kind of police officer and that kind of dad as well. I see a lot of police officers in the northeast that have their mirrored Oakleys, tactical gloves, that never leave their car except to “operate” operationally. The kids NEVER EVER see that kind of LEO being a friendly part of the community, he is looked at as the guy that only gets out of his car to taze you, beat you with his baton or flashlight, cuff you and haul you away or at the very least threaten any and all of the above. I am a 59 year old fat white guy and I would never give a friendly wave hello to the local LEO’s in my area out of fear that I’ll be bounced off the hood of my car, get my fingers sprained behind my back with their grip and twist technique of enforcing compliance because a wave is considered “suspicious activity”. PA’s state troopers are a much more professional bunch in my experience. All police forces and all police officers are not equal, but it pays to be cautious when dealing with any of them.

  8. Fantastic! This was very well written and being the son of a cop myself (and long bloodline of law enforcement and military service) I can relate. Thank you for writing this, thank you TTAG for posting it because the cop hate is getting really old around here and this very positive perspective is long overdue.

  9. Nice dismissive attitude of your fellow Americans, albeit subtle; only grudgingly acknowledging their 1st amendment rights and their invigoration of their 2nd amendment rights.

    Critics come in all flavors, to be sure, but most police critics on TTAG (including some officers themselves) do examine the totality of the circumstances. “Put yourself in their shoes” is code for “you weren’t there or in any similar situation, so you can’t possibly know and must defer to the officer.” It’s rhetorical browbeating, just like “keep an open mind” really just means “only someone closed minded would disagree with me on this.”

    No thanks. I call ’em like I see ’em. There’s nothing special about police or service members simply because of that occupation. Some want to do good. Others want legal cover to do evil. The vast majority, however, would go right along and be complicit in tyranny if the country went that way, just like those who enforce tyrannical regimes the world over.

  10. Good post. The Son of a Cop’s dad seems like an old-timey cop like the ones I ran up against when I was a kid. They were tough guys who broke my balls whenever I screwed up, but then taught me how to box in the Police Athletic League where they volunteered their time. If every cop today was like those guys, there wouldn’t be a divide.

  11. Every individual cop is a hero, trying to get back to his family after doing a little good in a bad, bad world. Collectively, cops are a tyrannical parasite that feeds on the people with impunity.

    No individual anecdote counters the weight of the systemic institutional injustices. In fact, its those very claims of honorable, individual service that buys the institution so much latitude to abuse. They let each participating individual live with themselves, and perhaps even remain convinced they are part of something good. The delusion, that a broken apparatus is functional because its individual parts appear to be whole, is just that…a seductive delusion – one that your father participated in as a cop, and you as a soldier.

    Your identities are tied up in that delusion. You cannot divorce yourselves from the idea that the institutions you served were broken and corrupt, because you fear that would mean you are broken and corrupt. It doesn’t mean that at all.

    In fact, the vast majority of both cops and soldiers are good and decent people just as, I believe, you and your father are. Unfortunately those who serve these institutions will continue to unwittingly perpetuate the coercive and barbaric nature of them, as long as they continue to tie their own identities so closely to institution that it blinds them and forces them to defend it as if they were defending themselves – as you are doing now.

  12. Never conflate criticism and demand for accountability with irrational hate.

    There’s a family that lives near me that won’t have daddy’s truck in the garage anymore because some “bad eggs” decided that even though he didn’t break any law, he should have his freedom suspended and subsequently died while in their custody. But at least their trucks went to their garages that night.

    Here’s a difference you should know, being a soldier. YOU signed up to risk your life, as did your father. The people on the street did NOT.

  13. As meaningful as our own experiences are it’s up to each of us to do what moves us. Fixing the bike may be a part of a long relationship between that child and the officer. Or he sees it as service.

    Someone would complain if officers weren’t shown in a good light too.

  14. As meaningful as our own experiences are it’s up to each of us to do what moves us. Fixing the bike may be a part of a long relationship between that child and the officer. Or he sees it as service.

  15. Cops, firefighters, soldiers have the respect of the community. And with good reason. Most Americans see the need for them and interact with them in a positive way. Most. There’s always going to be the small number of outsiders, misfits and the like that hold a negative view of people serving their community and country.

    Fortunately sensible folks see right thru the hate filled tirades that this very vocal minority spew.

    Do public servants need to be corrected when they step over the line? Yes. And we see where they are fired or charged with some crime on a regular basis.

    We have a local fire captain in hot water right now for drinking on the job. Only a moron would infer all firefighters are drunks from that.

    • “Most Americans see the need for them and interact with them in a positive way.”

      It’s cute when you believe this even when the American public spat on you for killing civilians in Vietnam. But… but… they all needed to die because they hate us for our freedom. πŸ™‚

      • Wow. Meglomania much. Seek help. You’re accusing people of crimes they did not commit. Because you imagine it so does not make it so.

        It must really hurt your twisted little soul that we vets have holidays and parades in our honor and you jihad janes get nothing.

        And since I already know what your rabid, foaming at the mouth answer to me is gonna be. See ya. πŸ™‚

        • Didn’t you say you would not respond? The dumb military animal cannot resist. πŸ™‚

          And as always, the dumb government animal drinks his master’s kool-aid and ignores facts: http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Anything-That-Moves-American/dp/1250045061

          You do realize that all totalitarian regimes also have holidays to enshrine military and police? Also they enjoy almost total public support too. No doubt you wish for all the “misfits” to be purged, because you swore to defend the Constitution. LOL.

        • Nailed it. Dumb troll animal is so predictable. I was wondering how long my originol comment would take to bait you to the surface. Swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

          Can’t resist a chance to verbalise your pud pounding fantasies of death and destruction. Man, your computer history must be scarier than a pedophile”s. Or maybe that’s in the mix also. You are one damaged puppy.

          No need to continue. You proved you can’t live without me. Have a day. πŸ™‚

        • Au contraire, I got you to respond. Like a dog barking on cue. Such is the story of your life. Following orders and getting mad. πŸ™‚

    • Dumbass. You responded to my comment about Americans loving them some vets as I knew you would. I saw your insanity towards ralph and jerry and the rest and left cheese for the rat.

      I have to explain this to you? You’ve been dismissed. Now run along dumb troll animal. πŸ™‚

      • So you wrote that comment as bait? Certainly doesn’t read like it. It reads more like standard pro-government drivel and griping about people who disagree with your inbred views.

        You sound awfully mad. Why don’t you head over to the VA and cry about losing Vietnam with all the other senile old fools?

        • Apparently you never had a father to teach you about sportsmanship. Sore loser. Temper tantrums like a brat. What are you? 16.

        • LOL @ sore loser, even as your ilk still go apoplectic with rage about losing Vietnam, 40 years later.

          You lost, deal with it. πŸ™‚

        • Hit a nerve, didn’t I. You lash out at men. If it wasn’t cops or soldiers it would be some other profession. You were raised in a single mother family with no positive male role model. No doubt food stamps figured large in your childhood.

          Well. let me be the better man and set a good example for you. I forgive you for the lies and provacations. If you want friends and a better life reach out with kindness, not the hatred you lash out with here.

          Try it. Turn that frown upside down. Soon you’ll notice people will actually want to include you in their activities.

          And I’m here. I can give you life advice if you’ll just ask for it. Have a better day. πŸ™‚

        • The irony of a proud government killer asking others to reach out with kindness. πŸ™‚

          Somehow I get the feeling the Vietnamese villagers didn’t really want to partake in your “activities”.

        • It’s ok. You cry for help then lash out at those willing to try. Just remember, when you’re ready to make an honest effort to re-integrate back into normal society, I’ll be here to help.

          Until then I’ll keep a thought and prayer for you to defeat your demons. Have a good night, brah. πŸ™‚

        • Willing to try (to commit genocide on people for daring to disagree with the US government). There, FTFY.

          Also LOL @ integrating back into normal society. From a Vietnam vet. Oh my, that’s some serious projection. πŸ™‚

        • Like the Miracle Worker with Helen Keller, I’m there for you bro. It’s gonna be hard. You’re locked in a vicious cycle of self hate and self destructive behaviour.

          But I’m a patient man. Some day you’ll have pride at the man you’ve become under my tutelage.

          It’ll be a struggle, but we’ll defeat those demons together. Bro. πŸ™‚

        • It’s OK broseph. Just like how nobody in Vietnam wanted your
          “help”, nobody here wants your “help” either.

          Now let the nice VA nurse help you with some quaaludes.

        • You’re still in denial. Sad. But just remember, when you’re ready. For now, I’ll let you go and think over the progress we’ve made today. Don’t give up, there’s hope for you.

          Sleep well tonight knowing there are men and women on the ramparts assuring your safety. πŸ™‚

        • “on the ramparts assuring your safety”

          You sound just as mad as Jack Nicholson on the stand in “A Few Good Men”. It’s a movie brah, you’re not supposed to be that stupid in real life. πŸ™‚

        • You’re absolutely right. You shouldn’t be this stupid in real life. Does this Rebel without a Clue act actually do anything for you? Does it give meaning to an empty life?

          Protesting for the sake of protest seems to be a waste of your time and energy. You surely cannot be so stupid as to believe the crap you spout around here. If you are, it truly is sad.

          Well, it’s been something. But some of us have jobs to go to. Maybe if you devoted your energies to being something other than a troll you could move out of the section 8 housing and get a real life.

          Night, bro. πŸ™‚

    • Do public servants need to be corrected when they step over the line? Yes. And we see where they are fired or charged with some crime on a regular basis.

      The problem is we often seen where no action is taken for public abuses. In a supposedly free society, this is significant. A free society cannot last when abusers of the public trust go unpunished. To gloss this over is to invite the tyranny the founders spoke of. These are armed agents exercising the will of the state, even if they are the nicest guy in the world, they still have power over you. This power is what is the real threat to liberty and our country. Not gays. No Muslims. Not removing a religious monument from public property. It’s the abusers of the people (and their cheerleaders).

        • Ugh. You should pick up a more constructive hobby.

          If you really want to change the world you should volunteer at a soup kitchen, adopt a highway or help out at a local animal rescue center. Your comments on here only prove to be irritating and accomplish very little.

          Please don’t troll. You are only sowing seeds of hate.

        • Oh how I miss the days when men had to spew their garbage to another mans face instead of online. Now the cowards can just say whatever they want without fear of repercussion. It’s the only reason people like him voice their slanderous and hateful opinions.

        • Nah brah. The American politicians that the military serve are the most hateful people on the planet. It is time for the militarist cult to wake up and see the consequences of their obedience.

        • “the American politicians the military serve are the most hateful people on the planet”

          proof?

          Turkey and Egypt wage war on journalists. Turkey is waging a civil war on its Kurds. ISIS cuts the head off of “infidels” and “apostates”. Putin routinely assassinates critics and invades neighbors. Etc. etc. ad infinitum.

          America ain’t perfect, but it’s government is way better than the vast majority in this world.

  16. This is a good written column. Good job and thanks for your guys service. Now on to the rest of you… Why would you dummys give these trolls the satisfaction of a reply!? That is what they were going for and they completely succeeded. They look stupid in their comments but when you reply it makes the rest of us look stupid and they get more chances to write complete bullshit under a good story. All they want is attention and you are handing it to them. Ignore them.

  17. Thanks Anonymous, for your service and your writing. Most cops and Soldiers ARE good guys, team oriented and trying to do the right thing. And they are people like everyone else, with families and aspirations and human foibles.

    I sure hope some of the knee jerk cop and government hater anarchists (looking at you, “sexual t-rex/good riddance”) don’t use this as an opportunity to launch written attacks.

    • “trying to do the right thing”

      The Fuhrerprinzip defense didn’t work for the Germans, and yet somehow the entire American militarist cult hinges on that idea.

  18. dan,

    thank you for the individual, personal insight into the thinkings of a member of a cop’s family.

    however….

    growing up during the black and white tv days, i can assure you the number of stories about bad cops anywhere in the nation were so rare as to be mostly un-remberable. then, during the 60s we learned of gross and massive corruption in the nypd. and suddenly and ever after there have been numerous accounts each year of bad cops, and good cops who let them be.

    i do not trust cops, and would not trust your dad. until….i found out about him through a report such as you gave today. yes, i know, really know there are good cops, cops who have never crossed a line, and who would immediately call-out and report a bad cop. it is just that such good cops are in an ever-declining minority.

    facts are simple, in the everyday cops are not your friend, your advocate, your protector, your buddy. cops do not get rewarded for not finding some bad actor who can be arrested. a bad actor arrest that looks good with the public.

    you dad is a gem. glad he completed a successful career without injury to himself or the death of a perp. be proud of him.

    the rest of us are going to remain skeptical, with good reason.

  19. This is perspective not opinion. This is what I saw, heard, felt. I can not change that. I can not change your perspective. I am only commenting because I hope you share your perspective. It is so we can develop constructive dialogue.

    I will not dismiss anything that was commented. I have no right to do so. I appreciate encouragement and dearly love my fellow countryman, but do not need it. I merely shared my story, my service ads no value to myself over any human being.

  20. Thank you sir for that story….you are the RULE and not the Exception! I also thank you for your service to our great country. Don’t let RF see that story about a cop that actually did something right, he couldn’t handle that. I also hate to see all the stories of the Exception’s (Bad Cops)!

    I had a career that was a combination of yours and your Dad’s. I served 6 years active in the USAF and 7 years in the Air National Guard as a Security Policeman. I served during peacetime so never was in a combat zone. Too young for Vietnam just barely got to serve in Desert Storm. Then I served 25 years as a State Trooper, 17 of which I was SWAT (Entry man/Designated Marksman/Asst. Team Leader). I was a SWAT Instructor and still instruct on a contract basis.

    I too have drawn my gun on many occasions…but never had to kill anyone. As a sniper I had a “Green Light” on many occasions…but we always found a less lethal solution. On one occasion during a SWAT call out in support of a FBI operation to capture one of their “most wanted” (who had just executed 3 adults and attempted to murder 2 children). Our team made entry on a residence and I found the suspect and wrestled a pistol away from him. He later stood trial and was sentenced to death.

    I say all of that to say this. My fondest memories was helping people. Whether it was a motorist out of gas, performing CPR at a wreck scene or stopping to ID a hitch hiker (which is illegal on the interstate) and giving them a ride…after stopping at a convenience store to buy them some food and water. I even stopped a car for running a stop sign. Ran the driver whose license was revoked. This was just before Christmas and the driver told me how he had just got a job and was trying to get his life together so he could provide for his little girls. He said Santa wasn’t coming to his house this year. Instead of arresting him I called his wife to come get him and gave him a couple of Teddy Bears (I carried to give to children at wreck scenes). I told him that he could at least give his girls the Teddy Bears for Christmas. He broke down, started crying and told me thank you and said he had never met a cop like me.

    I remembered that I had just cashed a $200.00 insurance company dividend check and Santa was coming to see my kids, so I gave him the $200.00 and said “you spend it only on your girls”. Am I Santa…NO. Am I something special….NO. Am I a hero…NOT HARDLY !Although I have worked with hero’s. I am more of the rule than the exception. There are a lot more GOOD cops than BAD cops…like Dan Zimmerman’s father!

    • Thanks for the comment, TacBear. Most cops are good and cops do more good than bad. Recognizing that doesn’t make one a cop worshipper. I for one think we do need to reign in many aspects of modern policing, such as no knock raids and the “war on drugs”. But I also recognize that without police, society can quickly degenerate into a hobbesian state of nature in which life is nasty, brutal, and short (such as exists in some of our inner city ghettos).

      “more dead soldiers/sexual tyrex/good riddance” will still call you a fascist, though.

      • kinda off target to comment about brutal life in the inner cities, but….

        seal-off the crime homes and let the inmates kill each other off. then clean out the debris and gentrify the locations.

  21. Good Article,

    Fatherless households can be found at the root of every single negative statistic we have in society. Poverty, incarceration, high school dropouts, illiteracy, unemployment / unemployability. Fatherless households are overrepresented in every one of those statistics.

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