I am so excited to have one of my very best friends in the world be the final guest poster for National Police Week. Linda gives us a wonderful perspective on what it is like growing up as a cop's daughter. Make sure to leave her some love!
Hi! My name is Linda and I am from Northern NJ. My father is a retired NJ State Trooper and I'll be giving you a glimpse into what it is like being the daughter of a cop. I think you can probably all guess that nuns were allowed to do more than my older sister and I were. Not only is my father a retired state trooper, but he is old fashioned, Italian, and grew up with brothers (who ironically all have daughters of their own). I went to high school from 1997-2001... hardly anyone had a cell phone at that time (or tracking device as my sister and I called them) but naturally we did. I surprisingly didn't have a curfew and they were usually pretty lenient about where I was but I had to check in at least once every two hours and whenever I switched locations. The few times I tried not calling, or the few times I lied about where I was going, usually wound up with me being grounded and not leaving the house for a few days. I felt like my dad had eyes everywhere. It was just easier to tell the truth and be completely open about where I was and what I was up to. My close friends knew the deal - just ask Mommy Musings who I've been best friends with since high school. :)
Being embarrassed in front of my friends about calling my parents for what seemed every 5 minutes was nothing compared to the mortification that came with dating. Naturally the guy always had to come pick me up at my house and meet my parents on the first date - just what every 17 year old boy wants to do, right? In addition I had to provide my father with the guy's address, phone number, make/model of car, and license plate number. Yes, this is for real - not joking even a little bit.
Now you're probably picturing some crazy beast for my dad. The truth is that my father is a pretty cool guy. There are obviously perks that come along with having a cop for a dad. For starters, the first car I was ever in was a troop car when my parents drove me home from the hospital. Not many people can say they've had a ride in one for a happy reason. He gave me a heads up on where to look for cop traps when I learned to drive, I got primo parking when I commuted to college, and lots of other perks too. That being said, one of the coolest things that I didn't appreciate until I was older is the instant respect my father gets from strangers the second he mentions the State Police.
So far I've mentioned the good and the bad that comes along with being the daughter of a cop, but there is also the scary which is in a class all in its own. That instant respect I mentioned earlier doesn't come without a price. I remember being a kid and my mom being terrified some nights. I didn't understand it at the time, but I did at a fairy early age. Not many people can say they've seen their dad leave the house with riot gear. One of the worst days of my life was 9/11. Just as the second tower fell my dad called my mom to tell her that that governor wanted to send troopers over to the WTC. I remember already being hysterical because of what was happening but then started screaming like a little girl to my dad saying, "Daddy, please don't go.".
I am almost 30 now and have seen how ugly the world can be. My father knows that ugliness way better than I ever want to know. He was so strict with my sister and I because he saw young girls go missing, get raped, and killed. My father wore a gun everyday to work, like many other police officers do. My sister and I weren't phased by it in the slightest because it was normal. Police officers constantly put their lives on the line for us. I am proud to be the daughter of a cop - no matter how mortifying my teenage years were. :)