Today is the last day that I will sign my name Detective, today is the last day that I will put on a badge and gun in defense of others. It is a bittersweet day, I just turned in all of my “stuff”. I was standing in the Captain’s office and looking at a pile of things on the floor. They are just things to the Captain but to me they hold memories. Memories of the job, memories of great times and some that were not so great.
I became a brother in this uniform. It linked me to some of the bravest men and women this county has to offer. I am proud that I served my city of pride. I am proud of what my fellow brothers do day in and day out. As I looked at the pile of uniforms on the floor I can’t help but think that my youngest daughter has never known me as anything but a police officer. She has always told people that her daddy was her hero because he catches bad guys. It will be odd to not be that anymore, now the only thing I am going to capture are photographs and memories.
All the guys are telling me that I will miss the job…. Well maybe, but I know for sure that I will miss the people that I shared this badge with. I have made great and long lasting friendships with these men and I do not take it lightly that they, without fail would give their lives to save mine, and I the same.
It is a weird feeling and it is hard to understand unless you have lived this life, felt this closeness, and felt this pain. My time spent serving the city will no doubt leave a mark on me, as I enter this new phase of life, I am not the same man I once was. Some for the good, and some for the bad. I long for the day where my radar fades and I am not as alert to the pain that is everywhere around me. But from what I understand that day will never come. I am forever cursed to notice expired plates, heroin and meth abusers, shoplifters, and the pain and fear that exist in peoples faces, even tho they think they can hide it.
But today is a day of celebration! A day that I get to return to my family whole, in one piece, except a few sore joints from years of wearing the belt, I am good. I ask that you remember the men and women that did not get to be so lucky. I have been to a handful of police funerals in my time on the job and each and everyone felt like loosing a member of the family, because we did.
But I am lucky, for I am whole. I am blessed to have the chance to embrace my family, our business, and a new way of life. I am thankful for the time that I have had, and grateful for the things I have learned, and most of all blessed for the brothers and sisters I have made.
Today starts a new chapter for us, today is a new day.
So for the final time.
Det. Z. Rackovan #123 (ret.)