I feel honored that Matthew allowed me to share this writing on my blog. It speaks so much to the type of man that he is and to the humanity and heart that he has. My prayers and my heart go out to you for your loss my friend. Follow Matthew on facebook@ https://www.facebook.com/authormattpoole and Twitter @https://twitter.com/MdpooleA
In case you came here looking for the next graphic exchange between law enforcement and some would be suspect, allow me to explain the very definition of the word “police”.
Verb (used with object), po·liced, po·lic·ing: To regulate, control, or keep in order by or as if by means of police or: Military . to clean and keep clean (a camp, post, etc.)
All of us at times, find ourselves policing our emotions. This is truth not only for police officers, but for the civilians they swore an oath to protect.
In the midst of complete chaos, police officers find themselves calm and collected because they have been trained to not fixate on emotion but to focus on the task at hand and bring about resolution to disorder. Our very lives, others included, depend on us viewing turmoil as information, taking in that information, and committing to actions that will change the situation that is unfolding. This is of little consolation to the peace officer who finds themselves helpless. The same could be said for you.
This last Wednesday I spoke with a man I’ve known for a long time. My wife cleans house for him and his wife as they take care of his aging mother. He advised me that his mother wasn’t doing too well, that she had been very short of breath the last few days, and had to go to the doctor on multiple occasions. My tenure in law enforcement left me knowing that it would not be long before something drastic may happen to his mother.
The next day I stopped by his home where my wife was cleaning. She had my youngest (1 year old) with her, and as she stepped around the corner toward the din where the old woman sat, I grabbed her up so as to not bother her. I could see that she was laboring just to breathe, and I didn’t want her to be disturbed. Normally I would have exchanged greetings and a hug, but this time I did not.
On Friday I was contacted by dispatch and advised that an ambulance had been dispatched to the man’s home for an elderly woman who had fallen. Upon arriving I saw the man kneeling beside his mother, oxygen tubes running to her face, a large cut above her eye. She had passed out and fallen causing her glasses to cut her face. The man told me that she had been unresponsive for at least 3 minutes. EMS arrived and I cleared a way to allow them access. They took the woman to the hospital. I told the man to call me if he needed anything and left.
I was later called by the man, my father, who told me that my grandmother had passed. I met my father at the hospital where he thanked me for being there and then he went home.
Police officers get real good at policing their emotions, but I’m sure we all have moments where we act in kind.
The truth is I didn’t grab my child, her youngest granddaughter, at the house because I didn’t want her to be disturbed; I grabbed her because the officer in me was telling me to shut off my emotions because this woman was about to die. I should have let her go around and see her. I should have embraced her, but I didn’t.
When she was lying there, no doubt frightened, and the EMS was attending to her as my father gathered her medicine, I should have told her I was there, that she would be ok. But I didn’t. I effectively policed my family because I was in a uniform. I had a job to do.
I do my job and I do it well. I am calm and collected. I help others when they need it. I police effectively. Learning how to let go of control has been hard for me and a journey I’ve been on now for over a year. Friday was just a reminder that I still have work to do.
Don’t let your job or anything else for that matter; regulate your love toward others. -Matthew Poole