The Amputee Policeman

Real talk from an 18 year cop

Three Crazy Days in the Life of a Young Police Platoon

Three homicide in three work days. That’s enough to keep any urban street platoon busy.  However, as my young platoon worked the first homicide on the first day, they also simultaneously worked two business robberies and a missing 13 year old with the mental capacity of an 8 year old. Turns out the 13 year old had an 8 year old READING LEVEL, but how was her mom to know!!! Geez.

On the second day as we sat in rollcall listening to me tell my platoon how kick ass they were from the day before, unbeknownst to us, that day would include another homicide and the opportunity for my young platoon, of young moms and dads, to see the body of a dead 3 year old lifelessly laying in the middle of Broadway, dimly lit by the red and blue police lights.  And although I’m a pretty hardened sergeant and former homicide detective, I found myself bumming cigarettes from people that night.

Finally on that third day back to work after two days off, and after many of us found trouble getting our significant others to talk to us about the pictures burned in our brains from the tradegies of earlier in the week, we get dispatched to a drive-by shooting that included a guy getting shot in the head and a little 5 year old girl that was struck by the crossfire as she inocently sat in her home.  Fortunately, the little girl will survive with a hellaciously long road ahead.  Unfortunately my young platoon got to deal with yet another senseless and incident child victim laying unnaturally bloody and bandaged in the middle of the street while they and EMS tried to stabilize her.

Proudly I watched as my young platoon did everything right on all three days. As they helped victims, as they gathered witnesses, as they taped off the scene. As they started the paperwork.  For any saltly old sergeant like myself, this was a defining moment for me because I constantly am empowering my officers to be so self sufficient that I’m not needed… and thats what I witnessed on all three days.  A group of great people, as I call us, our disfunction and loving family, kicking ass on a job that very few people are cut out to be able to stomach.  I’m proud of them, they should be of themselves.

And then next week will come and we’ll do it all over again….Because they are just that awesome.

Damn!  How many times have I had THAT look in 18 years!?

The Aftermath of a Chick Fight in the Hood!

Even after 18 years of working as a cop in the toughest parts of Louisville, I still see things that are unexplainable….

Or as the PC police would say, “They made a bad choice.”  Which doesn’t seem to make rape, murder, robbery or burglary feel any better…

My Prosthetic Leg’s New Years Resolution 2017

Unbeknownst to me, my leg had been taking jujitsu classes without me in 2016…  Nice pin though.

Growing Corn in the Hood

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!  So when I say I have a suspect hiding in a cornfield, I’m not just playing around!

The End of 2016

Another new year has come and gone and my leg has yet to grow back.  Although I remain hopeful of some great new technology just over the horizon, I plan on 2017 being much like 2016, still shorter on one side. Interesting enough, even after being an AK amputee for 11 years, I was graced with a few rounds of mild depression that forced me to kick myself in the rear to keep moving forward.  And even then, who knows if it wouldn’t have happened anyway with 2 legs?  Other than that, I didn’t much think about being one-legged and still don’t consider myself disabled or handicapped.  As a good friend once described me during a news interview, “The man still has 2 good legs, the only difference is he can take one off and put it on a shelf at night!”  

So as we go in to the new year as amputees, remember to keep plowing forward and continue to set the example for others unfortunately who will become amputees this year.  Make your experiences available to them and finally remember how no one will ever understand our plight unless they too are an amputee.  Make 2017 great and stay safe!  

For now, Ampcop is 10-7

BIG TIME Tips for the New Leg Amputee (from a current amputee police officer)

1. No prosthesis will EVER be the same as your original body part.  Find what works for you and move on with life.

2. There will ALWAYS be “new and approved”.  If what you have works, then don’t change things up thinking you’ll find something even better.  We call that Chasing the rainbow. When its time to refit, then try it then. But remember, changing what has worked well for you in the past can delay your life and honestly makes little sense.

3.  Your leg will VERY likely change in volume during the first 1 to 3 years.  You will have fit issues as your leg adapts.  It is NORMAL!  Bear this in mind when your frustration sets in.

4. Recovery from losing a leg will be 95% mental and 5% physical.  You can’t undue what has happened so until you can accept that fact, you’ll struggle.  Rule of thumb… Don’t worry about the things you can’t change. Life is short so don’t piss it away.

5. Core. Core. Core.  All successful leg amputees maintain good hip and core strength. Don’t expect to be pain free if you sit on your butt and let those muscles atrophy.

6. Losing a leg did not change who you are as a person.  Unless you suffered a cranial amputation, you’re not much different than before…just a little shorter on one side.

7. Pity parties are only fun for a short while.  But after the festivities are over, you can’t expect people to hang around forever while you party alone. In other words, even your closest supporters will grow tired of your moaning…even if they never say a word.

8.  People will look. Not nearly as much today as when I became an amputee 11 years ago, but neverthless they will.  But on that note, we look at people who are different too, so what’s the difference.

9. Make your Prosthesis yours.  With all the cool covers and patterns that can be built into a socket, have fun with it and customized to you.  After all, it ain’t going away anytime soon so learn to like it.

10.  When you do fall on dark moments because a particular day seems harder than another, go back and read tips 1 through 9 and then reset!

You’ll be fine. People will still love you.  Move on with life…

Later Amp Peeps. 10-7 for now.

I actually was captured once like this!

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