We are not Robots….

I had a member of staff speak to me about family issues and you could see it was tearing them apart. We talked for a long time and then they had to go out and deal with a domestic incident, arrest and interview and get through probably the longest shift they have been through in a long long time- it must have seemed forever.
They then needed time off and hopefully they will be back with us very soon. You could see the stress and emotion was just too much to take.

It got me thinking about how we as officers deal with our own issues.
That officer had to go to a job, listen to the family argue and bicker about who was right or wrong and put their own feelings and emotions at the back of their mind and carry on as if there was not a care in the world.

I was wondering whether people actually realise that under the uniform are human beings, not robots, who go through loss, pain and hurt?
I don’t think it actually occurs to them. I think they are so engrossed by what is going on in themselves that it isn’t even a glancing thought in their brains.

I have dealt with many many different scenarios including cot deaths, fatal road accidents, suicides and such like and that has a huge impact on the officers. The facade is there of course, it’s the I am being professional, empathetic and here to help but

how do they deal with it when it is closer to home?

Well the answer, I guess, is not all that well. The majority of issues we deal with in this career are things unimaginable to normal people, in the sense of every day run of the mill people with ordinary lives, and of course it isn’t just the Police, but all emergency services who have to sort out others lives as well as their own, but

just how we do it?

A lot of it is showmanship- we would all make great actors, and we, most of the time, are like graceful swans, delicately gliding over the water with our little legs paddling away underneath.

It’s having to put on the air of confidence that we are calm and in control. Occasionally that facade lifts and we may lose our ‘cool’, but hey, we are all human.

How many people really do take in to consideration just what we do go through? I don’t want people to think we want pity, far from it, but I would just ask for just a little consideration – when you next see an emergency worker, just a smile or a thanks would be appreciated. You just don’t know what sort of time they are having.

IJB

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