By Trey Rusk
I began my LE career when Patty Hearst of the Hearst Publication Dynasty was wanted for bank robbery and was an alleged and possibly brainwashed member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). The members committed bank robberies and murders between 1973 and 1975. I remember that so well because in the police department her FBI wanted poster hung near my desk. I was 19.
Civilians don't understand the brotherhood and sisterhood of police work. I had become a member of a family that took care of each other and each others families. Bonds were formed between officers under high stress situations that most people would never face in a lifetime.
The rumor that you may have heard that we didn't write each other tickets was true. In fact, in most cases we didn't write immediate family members of officers citations. We took care of each other and we always had our partners' 6.
I am delving into this topic because I'm older and have completed 42 years of a job that I liked. The exception to that rule was management because the same bonds you felt for your partner in most cases didn't exist between police managers. I would rather be working assignments on the night shift than be on a committee for some topic the rank and file officers really didn't give a shit about.
No one can imagine the camaraderie that exists between two people working a shift fighting crime. After 8 hours of discussing an assortment of topics 5 nights a week, you get to know your partner well. This is not to say that I liked all of my assigned partners. On one occasion I went to the Sergeant closed the door to the office and said, "That guy is a prick and I don't want to work with him again." I was assigned a new partner that night.
As I advance in age, the officers that I worked with and for are dying. I'm notified of their demise through the retired officers association on Facebook. It's sad because the bond vanishes. I'm not saying that I won't remember our times together, but I can't call or visit, so the bond is gone. Then I regret not taking the time to visit.
While I was out of town last weekend, I learned that an officer of my former agency passed away. Today, an officer I worked with locally had to shoot someone. Both of these happenings hurt and yet I am lucky to be a part of a brotherhood and sisterhood that shares the feelings of loss and concern. I am fortunate to have taken the oath of office and served.