By Jessica L. Laliberte, MBA
I don’t believe in labels but one I proudly wear is that of cop’s kid. My dad was my rock, my hero and my best friend.
Growing up a police kid, especially the chief’s child, could be challenging. But to me it was one of the greatest gifts I have been given. I, unlike my sisters, embraced the blue family. I spent a lot time in the station when I was growing up. I am the baby of the family. I loved going to the police station…it was my home away from home. I was so proud of my dad. He was the first local man to rise through the ranks from patrolman to chief. He loved police work and he loved his hometown. The only thing he loved more was his family.
My dad spent nearly 4 decades wearing a badge. It is who he was. Our great protector.
There is a burden that goes with growing up in a blue family but it also prepares you for life. You learn at an early age to accept disappointment. Nothing is guaranteed. Plans are never cast in stone…one call can change everything.
Being a cop’s kid shapes you. You learn early on in life there are bad people in this world and really horrible things happen, sometimes to good people. You have more uncles than your entire lot of friends. You develop that sick, warped sense of humor to deal with things. You have an awareness and suspicion of everyone and everything. You find it hard to trust, to let others into your circle.
My dad was my hero. Most little girls think that of their dad. But unlike most little girls I KNEW and my community knew my dad was a hero. He walked into a hotel room unarmed to negotiate with the guy holed up with a gun. That was my dad. He was chief. He would not ask his men to do anything he would not do himself.
He taught me how to be a leader. To give back to my community that has given so much to me. To fight for what is right, fix what is wrong and leave my place a better place than I found it.
My dad died five and a half years ago. He’d been ill but his death was rather sudden. It was so surreal the night he passed. He collapsed on the stairs going to bed. My last image of my dad is of two police officers doing CPR on him.
I’ve struggled with his passing. It’s hard to let go of your hero. I know he is in a better place and he is standing watch over us and his beloved police department.
This war on blue is painful for me to watch. The love and respect I have for those who wear a badge is immense. You are my heroes. A piece of my heart breaks each time I learn of an officer injured or killed in the line of duty. My blood bleeds blue. I also see the impact this senseless war is having on our police.
We, now more than ever, need to support those who risk so much for us. They need our love and support. The horrors their eyes have seen cannot be forgotten. If only hugs could ease some of the pain they suffer in silence.
I am who I am today because of my dad. My circle is small and is mostly made of police officers (just like my dad). I am a strong supporter of law enforcement but I also hold them accountable. I am a police kid. I am blue.
Safe Call Now: 24 Hour Hotline: 206-459-3020