Inside perspective of living with a police officer


Hannah Stelitano

Growing up, I have always watched movies or shows on TV where the plot was based around one big family that was constantly together. The father was always around, playing with his children and not worrying about anything else in the world except the moment. The mother of these families was never worried when her husband would go to work nor was she overly relieved when he returned home later in the day. I never fully grasped the concept of my dad’s job and learned more about the true hero he is in not only my life, but hundreds of others lives. 

Since May of 1997, my dad has worked as a police officer. In 2008, he got promoted to a detective. Until I was three years old, he was working crazy hours, getting calls in the middle of the night, and being one of the first at crime scenes. Now as a detective, he still works crazy hours and gets calls in the middle of the night, but he is also in charge of figuring out what happened in crimes. His job sounds like a true crime TV show, but trust me, it definitely is not.

While I am grateful for everything my dad provides for me and my family, his job scares me. More days than not, my dad will get called out at random times throughout the day. Whether it is 3 am or 5 pm, my dad could get a call at any second that changes his whole day. Although it is one of the sacrifices that comes with his job, it is also somewhat upsetting for my family. We could be eating family dinner or have plans to go out as a family later in the day and within seconds, everything changes. I love having my dad around. When he suddenly has to leave, it is hard not just because he’s gone, but because of the potential danger he could be facing.

He truly wants to help everyone and gets frustrated when there are issues he cannot help with. My dad has seen some of the most gruesome and scariest crime scenes and has even watched people die, but through all of this, he goes above and beyond to help people. 

My dad has taught me many important lessons through his job, one being that the actions of one person in a group does not mean the same for every other member of that group. When COVID-19 was first emerging, many movements were created against police brutality, putting my dad in even more dangerous situations than before. The people protesting did not realize that actions of one bad officer did not mean that every single one is like that. 

There were people I was friends with who stopped talking to me and stopped hanging out with me because of my dad’s job. This was a hard concept for me to grasp because I did not understand why people did not want to be friends with me because of my dad’s profession. I understand that some police officers in the world are not good people, but that is not the same for every officer. 

People do not see the crazy hours my dad works, only wanting to help people. Other people do not realize the sacrifices my dad makes everyday, within his own family, so he can try to make the world a better place. Other people do not realize all of the ways my dad goes above and beyond in his job to make the world better. 

My dad has had to work police protests before, which is probably one of the hardest tasks he has ever experienced. In some ways, it’s a form of discrimination. Some people have this much hatred for my dad, just because of his job. How is this fair to my dad that people want him dead just because of the job he chose?

Although my dad has been doing this job for a while, I never realized until recently how many sacrifices he has made for other people in his life, not just his own family. Seeing stories on the news of tragic accidents or events that happen puts an awful feeling on anyone, but it puts even more of an awful feeling onto me knowing that my dad is one of the first people at the scene. 

No matter how big or small an issue may be, my dad always rushes to help resolve the problems, regardless of how much danger he puts himself into. If my dad receives a call that his help is needed, he is out the door two minutes later, rushing to go help. 

It is frustrating for me when people judge him because of his job. I see how much he truly cares about helping people. When I see people trying to hurt the police through violence, it is hard to watch.