Thursday, July 17, 2008

Well, I haven't titled this post yet because I'm not sure how to.

Last week J happened to DVR some SWAT show, can't remember the name of it now, but it's new. The episode centered around a standoff in a metro area, man holding woman at gunpoint, and he spoke no English. Eventually the son showed up, things went haywire, and one of the eyes in the sky took down the man. The end of the episode focused on how the sniper was dealing with what he'd just done. As he walked to join the team, I thought it was well shot to show how he perceived everybody looking at him accusatorily. (I think I just made a word up!)

He went on to tell the psychiatrist he didn't need therapy. When he got home, his wife and son were waiting for him. J mentions that Col. Grossman writes and teaches about this, how people deal with killing someone as part of their job. Self-doubt, nightmares, etc.

While I realize most police officers never fire their weapons, I also realize that more often they do need to. I don't have statistics off hand, but I would be willing to wager it happens more now than it used to. And I sat there thinking, if that day comes, I wouldn't know how to help J cope with it. But because I know the potential is there, if I am smart I will prepare anyway. I want to be able to be his pillar in the days and weeks that would follow such an event.

Is it just the monster under the bed? Do I need to gird myself to help him through an event that may never happen? Should I attend a Killology class? Or do I just pray and have faith that J is never put through that trial?

Or do I need to stop taking network television so seriously?


Mrs. "Smith" said...

I've wondered the same thing myself. The only thing I can do is hope it never happens. I'll find a way to help Smith through it if needed. Isn't that what we do as an officer's other half?
I like the idea of a "Killology" class.

5150Wife said...

You make some very good points.

I've gone over in my mind a thousand and one times how I would react if my JD went down in the line of duty. I've never thought of how I would react if he had to take someone else out.

Hmmm, wonder if there are books on the subject? Particularly, ones written from the perspective of an LEOwife or significant other?

Good points. Good questions. Good post.

FroneAmy said...

J tells me there are books out there specifically for spouses/support personnel. The book/class I am referencing, Killology and "On Killing" by Lt. Col Dave Grossman, are specifically for the soldier/peace officer.

It's funny you should mention thinking about what we'd do if they come to our door to break the news. Something that I'm sure has gone through every LEO spouse's mind at least once a week.

Prepping to be the prime counselor in the event he has to take a human life is definitely not the foremost thought, but in theory the more likely event of the two. (Or at least we, the wives, hope so)

Anonymous said...

A specific book I have and give to all of my LEO spouses and families is "I Love A Cop". My sister in law said she was so thankful for it after I gave it to her a few Christmases ago, especially after the Sgt showed up at her door at 0200 after Brian totalled his car in January. He lived, thank God, and will be back on active duty this fall, we hope. The book helps address all of that as well, and that is a definite recommendation from the Critical Incident Stress Debriefer in me. I'm grateful to know that there are people like you who go the extra mile for their LE spouses. I know way too many that don't, and they're mostly not married to LEO's anymore. Check it out on Amazon.

Lugosi said...

I didn't watch it, but based on the previews, I'm guessing the show was "Flashpoint."
And yes, it's only TV.

FroneAmy said...


;) Good to see you again, Lugosi. It was Flashpoint.

KVegas - thanks for the recommend. I think I will definitely look into that book!

Anonymous said...

Actually, no, it is real. I know. I lived it. My wife and I stopped the DVR several times and discussed things while watchig that episode, cause she knows I have been through it. We started talking about it because she made the comment, "It's not really like that is it? It's just TV." I explained to her that no, it is in fact far worse in some agencies. I shot a man from 15 feet while he was holding his hostage in a Pizza Hut robbery. I being a police officer, read the Miranda rights daily to people. You can not even imagine what it is like to have another officer come up, take your weapon after an incident like this, and then you go downtown, where one of your friends reads you your Miranda rights while you are still processing the whole incident. My wife wants me to blog more about my experience on our blog, but Lt Col Grossman is my hero. As is Calibre Press, who puts on "mental survival" classes on all over the country and ecourages spouses to attend so then can see, and be of use to their spouse when the critical incident occurs. I go every 2 years, and this next trip my wife will attend with me.

Me said...

We all react different.
I have used my weapon in the line of duty to save myself and stop two scumbags who were trying their best to kill me. I don't and never have felt bad about it in the least. By contrast, I feel horrible when I have to put an injured deer down, but then the deer didn't do anything to deserve it.