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Dear Police Recruit,
You looked so handsome this morning as I sent you out the door.
You tossed restlessly last night, and I laid next to you just thinking about all the new changes coming our way.
You woke up and showered and tied your tie in the bathroom mirror. We both smiled and exchanged those nervous glances. This is it!
You squared your shoulders and grabbed your lunch and then I kissed you goodbye.
It’s your first day at the police academy, and I am so, so proud of you.
It seems funny to say, but you have already worked so hard for this. Medical exams, physical exams, and psychological exams. Keeping your phone close by so you don’t miss the call asking you if you would like to be a police recruit. LASIK eye surgery. Running every day in the January cold so that you will be prepared for the miles that you will be running every day in the academy.
And yet, this is just the beginning.
I know that you are nervous and excited. Life will never be the same from here on out.
We are embarking on a new schedule that will require different things from both of us. You will be gone all day, five days a week instead of the previous 24 hour shifts that you used to work.
You will be physically and mentally stretched in the academy, and that is just the six months of training before the “real” job begins.
You are choosing a job that requires responsibility for human lives. You are choosing a job that requires YOU to think quickly, without reservation and without bias. I have no doubt that you will be excellent at this, but it’s still a huge responsibility to place upon your shoulders.
You are entering into a workforce that most people fear, one that is portrayed so negatively in the media. We have no idea what is in store for us in the future, and yet we are diving in with no reservations.
You will sit in classes for months, learning the laws and the rules. You will learn how to communicate and write reports and how to trust no one. You will be shot at and tasered and deep down inside, I know that you secretly can’t wait for that day in class. You will push your body to its physical limit and I know that you will excel.
Anything that could be a competition will become a competition amongst the other men in your academy class. I know you…you are the most motivated man I have ever met, especially when competition is present.
If you can be the best, you will be the best. If they tell you to run 3 miles, you are the man who will run 6 instead. If the instructors say they want to know how long you can do push-ups for, you will do push-ups until no one else is doing push-ups. If they say you will earn merits for accomplishments, you will work your hardest to earn the highest possible merits.
I hope that you use this competitive edge in a healthy way, to motivate and challenge and encourage. I pray that you will not be arrogant or rude about your accomplishments, but that you will remain humble and kind.
I’m praying for you today on your first day. I’m praying that you will confident, but humble. I’m praying that you will look forward with great excitement, but also live in the moment. I’m praying that you will be able to build friendships with the others in your class. I’m praying that you will be diligent and have a great desire to learn. I’m praying that you will be a leader, but that you also won’t be afraid to follow those who know more than you. I’m praying that you will have the wisdom to know who knows more than you and who needs to be led.
And that’s just the academy. If I think even further down the road to when you officially become a police officer, my prayers for you grow deeper and longer. But maybe that is another letter for another time.
For now I will leave you with this: I love you and I am so proud of you.
Plus, police recruit, you look pretty darn handsome in your suit and tie!
Your proud wife