My husband, now retired, served as a peace officer for thirty-five years. We have often talked about his career and the perception the general public has of officers. In summation, he gave me this poem. I think it says it all. I dedicate this post to all the men and women, past and present, who have, and are, serving in law enforcement:
The Final Inspection
The policeman stood and faced his God
which must always come to pass,
he hoped his boots were shinning
just as brightly as his badge.
"Step forward now policeman,
how shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek,
to my Church have you been true?
The policeman squared his shoulders,
and said, "No, Lord. I guess I ain't,
because those who carry badges
can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays
and at times my talk was rough
and sometimes I've been violent
because the streets are awful rough.
But I never took a penny
that was not mine to keep,
Though I worked a lot of overtime
when the bills just got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
though at time I shook with fear,
and sometimes, God, forgive me,
I wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
among the gentle people here.
They never wanted me around
except to calm their fear.
If You have a place for me,
it doesn't have to be grand,
I never expected or had too much,
so if You don't I'll understand."
There was silence all around the throne
where the Saints had often trod,
And the policeman waited quietly
for the judgement of his God.
"Step forward now, Policeman,
you've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets
....you've done your time in hell."