Cheers to my father.
He was a city of Milwaukee police officer for 32 years. He never talked about “job satisfaction” or questioned his calling in life. He did his job. And did it well. He never called in sick and had years of sick time left over when he retired. He wore his uniform with pride and as his daughter, I was always excited to tell people what he did for a living. He wasn’t one of those dads who wore a suit and came home tired from sitting in an office all day. He was a cop! He was out in the world, making it a safer, better place.
My dad was the one who had days off during the week and could come to our field trips as a chaperone and came to our games and activities. My dad was able to give the tour of the police headquarters to my class when I was in sixth grade. He was able to drive me and my brother to school every morning because he worked second shift. He was one of many police officers and fire fighters in our neighborhood. Like all of the rest, they never thought of themselves as heroes or special, even though their jobs were often dangerous. My dad saved someone’s life and he never talked about it, we just hung the photo of him receiving his commendation and basked in the pride of living with someone who would do that. We knew that our dad was going to be at all of our big events and would switch days off if he had to or work overtime to guarantee that.
Ours was a family life where dad was around a lot and there when we needed him. Yes, he might’ve worked some holidays and nights unlike “normal” dads. But we had more of his time and attention because of his schedule and because of who he was. He never talked about how he had to deal with the worst in people, in the worst neighborhoods, for most of his career. He worked hard and we respected him for what he did. He was like a rock star to us, in his dark blue uniform with his shiny badge.
We liked living in the bigger community of public servants, the police and fire fighters, who gave up the 9-5 schedule and the safe life working at a desk to protect and serve the greater good. We always said “I Love You” in our family every day, because of what our dad did for a living. We never took it for granted that he would come home safe. But luckily for us, we were one of those families who didn’t have the tragedy of losing our dad “on the job”. Our dad was just our dad, who happened to have one of the best jobs in the world in our eyes.
Cheers to my father. I know being a police officer was not his first choice of a career. But once he entered the force, he never looked back and he served with pride and dedication. It became who he was and it defined the life of our family. I am so proud to be the daughter of a police officer, always a hero to his family and also to those whose lives he touched through his job.
Happy Father’s Day Dad!