As a child, I remember counting the days until Take Your Child To Work Day. My peers were always eager to hear how I spent the day at the police station. My father would record my sister and I pretending to interrogate each other, or let us take fingerprints off mugs. I assumed being a cop was a dream job, full of action and adventure- car chases, rescuing hostages, the like. Ignorance is bliss.
In middle school, I would tell people about listening to the police scanner, and how handcuffs are actually very uncomfortable. I was still able to amuse them with my knowledge of crimes and the system. I would point out under cover cars based on the antenna, and tell the most exciting stories my parents shared with me from 30 years of experience.
High school approached, and I avoided telling anyone about my parent’s work. I was afraid people wouldn’t invite me to parties, thinking that I would rat them out. I still eavsdropped on my parent’s daily case discussions, since I wasn’t allowed to know about the cases. During these times, I prided myself on knowing information about the local scandals. I even remember trading “police secrets” with another cop’s child. Other times, I would text my dad every time there was a squad of cars in front of a house so he would listen to the scanner and tell me what was going on.
One night, we were on our way home from the grocery store, when my close friends street name was mentioned on the scanner. I texted my friend to see what was happening. Moments later, the cop on the radio reported a potential break in at her house. “Holy shit Dad, that’s her house, we have to go!” We pulled into her driveway, and I ran to her front door. (It was extremely stupid of me to enter a house being robbed as a 16 year old girl.) My adrenaline was racing, yet at the same time I knew she had always been paranoid and it was most likely nothing. The house was searched by my dad and another policeman, who returned with good news. The house was empty, and my friend was safe. My dad was angry with me for running into the house, but I learned my lesson and we made up over coffee cake that night.
After high school, police became a scapegoat for racism in the country. Videos of white cops killing unarmed black civilians went viral, the Ferguson and Baltimore Riots erupted, and the Black Lives Matter protest began. Towson University was about 20 minutes away from the riots. We wondered why there were so many sirens going into the city.
After that, I spent hours researching police brutality and showing my support of Black Lives Matter. Growing up as a policeman’s daughter has given me the insight to see that yes, many cops are good, but many others are still racist and cruel. I plead you all to not dismiss the Black Lives Matter movement, to recognize the corruption in the system because of racism, but do not hate someone because of their job as a cop.