Give The Police And Fire What They Deserve

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
To the Mayor, City Council and public,

Growing up my dream was always to become a pediatrician. When I graduated high school that dream had changed. My new goal was to major in exercise science since I love sports and exercise. After my first semester I changed my mind again, yes I am a woman.  I became a business major and graduated in 1998.  

I became a property manager for a family business. I took a part time job at a local department store catching shoplifters. The thought of becoming a police officer never crossed my mind. Doing that job, I came across many police officers who assisted me in helping put some minor criminal offenders in jail. Between riding to the jail with these officers, doing ride alongs for over a year and going to court on my cases, I decided at the age of 24 to become a police officer.  

I started the academy in 2000. My family quit speaking to me for a while.  I wanted to make a difference. I wanted the bad guys gone and to help those that needed it.  Since I backed out of joining the military, because of family, I wanted to do the next best thing to serve my country and that was become an officer.

I was the “typical” rookie, always in the middle of something. Gung-ho. Always wanting to work.  Ask anyone that knows me and maybe a few who don’t, they know I work. I have seen my fair share of crimes, injuries and deaths. Suffered a few myself but it hasn’t stopped me.  Maybe slowed me down a little.  I have seen several chiefs come and go. As well as several administrations and several mayors. Always expecting changes, some good and some bad. That is what you do, you expect change. Everyone has their own way of doing things. I have heard the politicians make promise after promise to police and fire. I have seen some fulfilled and others not, mostly not.  Each election hoping the mayor will actually care about his first responders and want the best for them because without us you would have no city.  

e, police, know each and every day how much we are hated. We come to work anyway. That is what we do. We know how to deal with the disrespect, the drunk, the high, the killers and everything in between. That is what we do. All we want is what is promised to us. All we want is respect from the administration, all administrators in our building and downtown. Civilians complain when we aren’t there, they complain when we are there. We do our job anyway. We will die for you mayor, your city, and your family. What we will not do is let anyone take our pay or benefits.  Have respect for us. Period. Police and fire.

You think all we do is complain. No, that is not what we do, we take complaints from people. We are not just police/fire. We are rescuers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, babysitters and it goes on. For my $22 an hour job, where I pay insurance on my patrol car, pay higher rates on my personal vehicle because you require higher limits, pay rent on my car and work many professions under one hat, all I ask is you treat me and my brothers and sisters in blue and red, fairly. Pay us fairly, leave our benefits alone and let us be to do our job. Quit padding your pocket and your friend’s pockets and do the right thing.  

As a civilian, think about it…..would you do our job, obviously not or you would be here. Think about your gripe, complain or “problem” that really isn’t, before you call for us. Would you listen to what we do, would you put your life on the line, would you die for your neighbor? We would. Perfect strangers, we do.  Before you go buy that CD of your favorite singer, a sports ticket where your favorite athlete plays, think. Think about your military, first responders and teachers. They don’t make money. Think, why am I padding the pocket of someone who sings with a computer versus someone who would die for me? Just think. 

When I hit my 25 years, I will retire at 48. Yes, that is young. Yes, I will have to get another job. At 28 years, with the drop, I will be 51 and still have to get another job. Inflation.  But think about how much I have seen and done in those 25 years. I deserve to retire at 48. As do any of us. Mayor, give us what we deserve and promised and leave us alone. I promise we will be happy.

Jamie Barrow

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