Police Relationship 4-1-1
Communication Check List
Police Environment Tips To Consider
- Shift work can make having a relationship with family and friends difficult, so be creative with your time together
- Discover “new traditions”. Thanksgiving dinner might have to be Thanksgiving breakfast of lunch, or even held on a different day. Christmas morning gift opening may need to be on Christmas Eve. Or not until Mom or Dad comes home from work. Create something that works for YOUR family.
- It cannot be stressed enough – when an officer is sleeping between night shifts let them sleep. Unless the house is on fire or there is a state of emergency, do not wake them up. If you are at home with the kids, take the day to visit friends or family or go on an excursion.
- More often than not, an officer cannot get out of working overtime while on duty. However, it’s a choice to take extra shifts or paid duties, just keep in mind if choosing this will it interferes with an already planned family time.
- As the spouse of an officer you need to be flexible and have plans A to Z ready
- Don’t cancel plans because your spouse got stuck after shift. If it was dinner plans with friends, still go; if it was a movie, go yourself or call a friend.
- There is no other job like police work. Officers see more pain and suffering in three years than you will see in a lifetime
- Stress doesn’t only come from the streets. A large percentage of stress officers’ face comes from within their own organization.
- If your spouse is bringing home his or her frustrations and taking them out on you, be very clear that this in unacceptable.
- You will never fully understand the stress of police work but you can be empathetic about it.
- Who and what officers deal with on a daily basis can/are sometimes like being in a different world. This lack of public understanding, support and media sensationalizing can be very frustrating.
- Avoid letting it get under your skin when people (and yes, this could include family and friends) begin “trash talking” police officers. Depending on who it is, you might be able to offer the true perspective but in some cases it won’t matter what you say.
- Remember, there are rotten, ignorant police officer but there are also rotten ignorant, teachers, nurses, doctors, sales people etc.
- Have your own social life. They will be extended times you are alone.
- Make a commitment together to discuss how your relationship is going. Know whether it is heading down the wrong path that many marriages take. The earlier you can catch the behavior the better chance you have of making it over the speed bump.
- As a family member, you may be the first to recognize when an officer needs help. You can play a crucial role by encouraging them to see assistance before the problem worsens. Employment Assistance Programs are available for officers and their family.