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How's the Family?
- Cops and relationships

Shift work by itself is hard on a family. Add the stress and complications associated with working in law enforcement and you have a recipe for disaster. Those who choose to live with us under one roof are immensely strong people, however sometimes we take it for granted.

It’s not easy for cops to find a serious significant other. Even though we look at law enforcement with outmost respect and consider it to be an elite profession, others have a skewed view on who we are and what we do. Even after we leave the uniforms in the locker, get into our cars and attend social events, we still face hatred and despise by some.

I think there are three reasons why people date cops. The first reason is for the excitement. After watching a movie like Lethal Weapon, wouldn’t you want to date one? The sad truth is that most of us don’t crash 5 police cars, get into 4 pursuits, kill 10 people and arrest a murder suspect – all in two and a half hours. You be surprised, but a date I took to such movie once told me: "you guys have an awesome job!" - brain surgeant ha?

The second reason why I think people date cops is for the status. Lets face it, our work is a mystery to many. It intrigues the crowd. Just look at the number of police related TV shows, movies and special reports. Every night a different police related show attempts to quench that thirst and give people a peek at what we do. Some people see us having the advantage, being there when the crap hits the fan, when the news breaks out. We get the "scoop" before anyone else. Those people who choose to get close to us for this reason feel they rise to a new status.

The third reason is a genuine one. People who fall into this category realize what job we hold and are able to put it aside, concentrating on our individual traits and behavior rather than our "exciting" lifestyle. If you find such a person it is important to warn them very early in the game that the job comes with some costs, some of which may influence the relationship. Things like no weekends together for a year, sleeping alone at night for months, being away from home for special details, not being able to take time off and staying late on extended shifts (sounds familiar?). If the person you are dating is strong and independent, with a little bit of support and reinforcement, it should work out. On the other hand, if the person is very dependent and tends to be weak, good luck to you – and stand by.

The views of the contributors to this publication are not necessarily the
position of On-Duty. They send it, you read it.