Tuesday, September 23, 2014


The word probability is defined as a strong likelihood or chance of something.
It was the first word to cross my mind when I first heard about the NYPD Officer who was killed on Sunday. 
I can hear your minds spinning double-time: an NYPD Officer was shot?
How did I miss that?
The truth is that this Officer was not shot, but killed in a van accident going to a routine detail. He was ejected from the van when it hit a hard corner on the Bruckner Expressway. Two other officers were injured, and the rest of the occupants of the van were treated and released from various Bronx hospitals. 
I'm quite sure it is completely devastating for the friends and family of this Officer, regardless of the cause of death. 
What the majority of the general public does not understand about police work is that the probability of you getting hurt or worse is greater simply by being out there more.
You don't have to necessarily be chasing a perp in order to qualify as someone who is putting their life in danger; the statistics are not in your favor even when you are doing a routine detail. If you're on shift, you're in a car, you're wearing a uniform, you're exposed, and you interact with more people.
That pushes the probability of something happening to you up, every single day that you're on shift.
And that, dear friends, is why the Cop's Wives and Others that stay home and worry have every right to do so. The probability of your loved one getting hurt or worse is always there, unless and until he's home in bed, laying right next to you.
Then and only then do you breathe.

Rest In Peace, Officer Williams. 
If you'd like to read more, click here:


  1. Stella,
    My immediate reaction to this post is one of admiration. From a complete outsider’s point of view, I can only begin to imagine what it’s like to hear about an event like this when your husband is out there everyday doing more or less the same things that Officer Williams did. What’s more mind boggling to me is that as a spouse, despite that consistent threat, there is still marital support for these individuals in the police force. The argument to be made here isn’t whether or not police spouses are going to be stressed or worried, but rather what means and strategies they use to cope. Through my research (sources available upon request), I found that the stress and challenges that come with being a police officer inevitably wedge themselves into a marriage and eventually into family life. The general theme of the research is that the best method of coping is a compromise. As much as the non-officer spouse wants his/her spouse home there is still that element that his is the officer’s job (risks, threats, and danger in all). As far as life at home goes, there is a lot of emphasis based on communication, which is shocking because a lot of sources point to the fact that what cops endure is not communicated easily to those who are not in the force. The most common method is to utilize inter-family, social and emotional connections and support systems. This involves finding a familial outlet to vent to essentially. Along with this topic of being a police wife comes a considerable amount of debate. There’s this idea that this police officer- [non-officer] wife feeds into traditional and stereotypical views of working husbands and wives who stay at home cook, clean, and in this case worry. The modern and acknowledgement of the emotional layers of turmoil that come with being a police spouse challenge this accusation. The coping mechanisms used are a topic of great controversy in research. The main ideas are that of finding other mechanisms and outlets in substitute of pure marital support. These outlets include, but are not limited to, counseling to talk through stress, various support groups, and finding other outlets (i.e. hobbies) to fill time and release stress.

  2. @JC: Since every one is different, I'm quite sure everyone deals with their stress in different ways. I for one eat, pray, exercise, and surround myself with people who actually "get it." I have learned that the general public does not really understand the probability of something happening, hence the post above. Keep in mind that when I married my husband he was not a cop (a la Suddenly Cop Wife) so we have more or less learned to adjust together.

  3. Stella,
    Thank you for responding; greatly appreciated. I think you raise a strong point about everyone being different. I extended my research (again, sources available upon request) to looking more into the teamwork of coping rather than just a one-sided issue for the non-officer spouse. A good portion of my research connects to that idea that people need to be around other people who “get it” (as you previously mentioned) and are able to connect on that deeper level. There’s also an emphasis on deeper communication between spouses who are in a position similar to yours. I realized that though being a police-spouse is a very unique role, I was being too restrictive in my research in consideration that I was solely looking at police to non-officer spouse pairs when there are general knowledge about job stress and coping with that. But, yes, in general non-officer spouse coping looks very different than it does for other couples.


Law Enforcement News Powered by PoliceOne.com