Everyone has their own priorities in life. I’m not here to criticize anyone else’s, I’m just going to tell you mine. My family comes first, period. Whatever is best for them is what’s best for me. Nobody on this planet loves me as much as they do, therefore I’d do anything for them. Familytime is the most precious time to me.
My career comes second. I love what I do for a living. When I’m on the clock I do the absolute best job I can. When I’m off the clock, I’m still a sworn peace officer. If I can help in a situation, I will; only if I can do so without jeopardizing the lives of my wife or child. I don’t work overtime unless it’s absolutely necessary. Time and a half doesn’t come close to how much spending time with my family is worth.
We all hear the statistics on the divorce rate with LEO’s and from my personal observations, I can say that there is a trend. A lot of my partners are divorced some of them more than once. Not all of them were because of the job. Those who put their careers first usually have issues at home due to many reasons: they’re always at work, get called in, etc. What we do is important because if there was no officers to protect those who can’t protect themselves, nobody else will. I’ve seen a lot of children of LEO’s end up on the wrong side of the law. Children need their parents in their lives, preferably both parents. If you’re not there, you’re not there. What I don’t want is to be a statistic.
Shift work is rough on the family. On a 3/12, it’s nice to get the 3-4 days off, but those days that you’re on, you don’t have much time to get stuff done; you barely have time to eat, sleep and get ready for the next day. When you’re on your days off, you’re usually tired and don’t have much energy. I was fortunate to get out of that schedule into what I call, “the best schedule in Law Enforcement,” which is the court schedule. It’s like having a 9-5 job, while doing what you love to do.
Everyone has to have balance in their lives. For some it’s hard to decide their order of priorities. It isn’t for me because no matter what I decide to do, my family comes first.
Bottom line: as long as you are happy, all is good.
The term “Tackleberry” is used often to describe a type of person in my profession. It originates from a character from the movie Police Academy (he’s the one with the hand cannon). I’ve been called and labled as a Tackleberry by many of my partners. People who earn this title are usually to one’s with a lot of gear or guns. It’s used in a joking manner, sometimes it’s a negative label to have because it could mean that your somewhat insane. I don’t mind being called that because I am not ashamed to be prepared. The ongoing trend that you will see in my writing and my way of life is that it almost always will revert back to my mindset.
Back in my academy days, I was quickly called Tackleberry by my classmates. They often made fun of me because I always had extras of everything. They laughed until it was low light training day at the range and they didn’t even own a flashlight. They once made fun of me in front of an instructor and he replied, “I know who I’d would want next to me in my foxhole…”
I’ve always had an interest in technology with everything that I use. Since my chosen career requires me to protect my life and others, I know that the equipment I use could have an effect on the outcome of whatever situation I may be confronted with. Do not be mistaken, knowing about your equipment and having it doesn’t make any difference; it’s knowing how to use it to it’s maximum capability by constantly training with it that will help you be more successful.
I don’t care what my partners call me, what I do care about is how they perceive me and my reputation. Jokes aside, they know that I’m the partner they want to back them up when hell breaks loose. Nothing anyone says to me will keep me from achieving my most important goal: going home to my family at the end of each shift.
The term ‘Sheepdog’ is used quite a bit lately. You may have heard it from members of our military or law enforcement. I, myself am a Sheepdog.
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s book On Killing defines what Sheepdog are. www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm
Simply put, it describes the Sheepdog as the protectors of the Sheep, from the Wolves. In our society, the Sheepdogs are personified in our military warriors who take the fight our enemies abroad and our law enforcement officers, who protect our citizens from criminals.
The Sheepdog Mindset is to always be prepared to face the evil that we know exists. In order to stop the wolves, they must be able to use their teeth.
I have no military experience and never served, therefore I could only speak about my point of view as an officer. I can say that it is not easy being a Sheepdog, you are almost always reactionary because you’re there to protect, not instigate. In today’s world, the level of violence is rising and those who commit those acts have no regard for anyone besides themselves. The criminals are armed with the latest technologies, whether it be electronics or weapons. We need to modernize our own equipment in order to protect ourselves, making us effective against those who are bent on doing harm to others or ourselves. The Sheep, however are sometimes intimidated by our own weapons and equipment. The are afraid because they are not familiar with them or the real threats we face on a daily basis.
I have the right mindset. To those that don’t, all I can say is: failure to plan is planning to fail.
If we’re not effective Sheepdogs, then the Wolves will have free reign over all.
I am a Full-Time LEO, husband and father. I have over nine years of experience with my department. I started this blog and my Instagram in 2015 with the goal of educating fellow LEO’s and gun enthusiasts with my personal knowledge and experience. I run Fifty Shades of FDE myself, on my free time. I am a part of the Muzzle Flash Media team and manage that page as well. I am now a writer for Breach Bang Clear and manage other social media pages for industry companies that I have a close relationship with. Originally, my Instagram page only featured original content. It didn’t take long for me to realize that there is a whole lot more shades of FDE out there and so I made my page a hybrid with original posts along with reposts of high quality content that I come across, while making sure that credit is always given to the original owner. The best way to get my attention for a repost is to tag me in your photo or direct message me.
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