How do cops stay sensitive and tough at the same time, depending on the situation?

Example: My grandfather and his partner were tasked with informing a lady that her husband had died in a traffic collision. My grandfather's partner, Al, said, "I'll handle this, Phil." When the lady answered the knock at the door, Al said, "We just came to tell you you're a widder." (East coast accent.) Shocked, she responded, "What?" So, he explained that her husband had driven into a tree and died. After she passed out, Al told my grandfather, "Come on, Phil. We done our job." My grandfather stayed long enough to get a wet towel and place it on the traumatized lady's face to revive her. They left after that. (My dad doesn't remember my grandfather sharing any more details.)

This is a 100% true story. My grandfather was a beat cop for the Marlborough Police Department in MA until his retirement.

Is there anything people can do to help police officers deal with this dichotomy?

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    How about not judging all Police officers based on an amusing anecdote about your grandfather and his partner?

    In any job where you must teach yourself to deal with the worst that the world has to offer (talk to an ER Doc or Nurse some time), we develop coping mechanisms. But, that never shuts off our humanity. I spent 12 years in Homicide and 6 years as a crime scene supervisor. I have seen incredible horrors. But, that does not render me inhuman.

    There are approximately 1.1 million Police officers in the US today. Police officers are humans (the human race is the only pool available to us from which choose our candidates). So, there are approximately 1.1 million different personalities in law enforcement today.

    Are all truck drivers the same? How about teachers?

    Sensitivity is highly overrated, however empathy is extremely important (they are NOT synonyms). We have lost relatives and friends too, we understand the whole range of human emotions, because we share them, in our own ways.

    In everyone's life, there are degrees of toughness and gentleness; in that, Police are no different from anyone else.

  • 8 years ago

    I think its all in the officers personality. Your grandfather wasn't heartless like his partner Al. Always treat people the way you want to be treated.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Cool story bro. Of course if you weren't there or didn't hear the story first hand you have no way to know for sure if it is a 100% true story or not.

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