It’s been 360 days since we rang in 2016. I’d like to say that it was a great year, and in some ways it was, but as a cop 2016 was horrible.
As of today, 138 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in 2016. We all know that our lives may be put on the line when we suit up and head out, but this year made that painfully clear more so than any other in my 13 year career. I explained my outlook on these painful events in detail in “The Band I Hate” and “Suiting Up”, so I won’t wade too deeply into the woods now.
The media and election season brought about a ton of attention on law enforcement during the year. Suddenly everyone with access to the internet was an expert on the daily operations of a law enforcement officer, especially use of force policies and practices. “It Takes Two” and “The Reality of Perception” examine the differences between actual law enforcement training and experience versus the bridge-burning behavior of the politicians and opposition groups that denounce the police. Athlete and celeb activists weren’t immune, and I shared my take on two specifically in “Sports and Politics” and “I’ve Got 99 Problems, but Beyonce’ ain’t One”.
2016 wasn’t all doom and gloom, strife and heartache. In the first year of my blog’s existence I did my best to share a view from behind the badge to the public, and I’ve heard plenty of feedback from other law enforcement officers to help me understand that my experiences here in the Donut are pretty similar to ones they encounter. There’s something to be said about belonging to a group, and those shared experiences help us stay unified against all fronts.
“Us versus Them” lays out the process by which cops slowly lose any desire to interact with non-cops, while “A Cast of Characters” pokes fun at exactly who you’ll find on that thin blue line. “13 Things I can Count On”, “One of ‘Those’ Nights”, and “9 Phrases You’ll Only Hear from a Cop” are real-world examples of what it’s like to be a cop today.
This year in review post will make the 58th post of the year for my blog. It began as a simple way to voice my frustrations and gave me an electronic soap box to vent to anyone that would hear it. I never dreamed that someone would actually start paying me to write, or that I would have articles posted on PoliceOne in less than a year’s time. I’ve quickly learned that I’m no web designer, and that computer-machines can be cruel creatures, but it’s been a process that I’ve enjoyed a great deal.
I’m very thankful for those of you that take time out of your day to read what I’ve typed, especially when you give me feedback and share the posts with others. I hope that 2016 comes to a happy close for you all, and that 2017 brings you peace and joy. Happy New Year, be safe out there!
It’s time to go patrol the Donut…