Father’s Day: The Challenges of Fatherhood in the Force
By Matthew Loux, faculty member at American Military University
This Father’s Day weekend is a time to thank all the fathers who work in law enforcement, both current and retired, and to celebrate the strength of law enforcement families. Officers know that being a parent and a police officer—whether you are a mother or a father—is extremely challenging and requires many family sacrifices.
[Related Article: Mother’s Day: Spouses Are the Unsung Heroes of Law Enforcement]
As a father, I do not ask for gifts or cards, but I welcome thank yous from my kids. As I have mentioned in previous articles, physical breakdown, divorce, stress, and other issues plague the law enforcement profession. I saw this quote by Louisa Mansfield on a Father’s Day card and it struck me just how different police officer families are from civilian families:
When I was born,
You were there to catch me when I fall, whenever and wherever.
When I said my first words,
You were there for me,
to teach me the whole dictionary if need be.
When I took my first steps,
You were there to encourage me on.
When I had my first day at school,
you were there to give me advice and help me with my homework.
I still haven’t finished school,
or walked down the aisle, or had my first child.
But I know you will be there for me through all these times and more, the good and bad.
So I just wrote this to say ‘I LOVE YOU, DAD!!!’
Unfortunately, many police officers who are fathers miss many birthdays, holidays, and first days of school.
Dads: Remember What Is Important In Life
The children and spouses of police fathers need to celebrate these courageous men and officers need to remember what is important in life. Some of my favorite memories while I was an officer are not of the high-risk entries, car stops, arrests, or hanging out after-shift with fellow officers, but rather the times spent with my family.
As an officer, be sure to take time for your family every day. Your family should be your passion and the center of your universe.
Work hard to set a good example for your children so they can look up to you and be proud to call you dad. You have the power to shape and create a destiny for your children. You have the highest responsibility to teach your children morals, values, and ethical standards. You have to show them how to be strong and independent so they are prepared to one day take care of their own families. Always remember this is a much higher calling than working an extra shift.
While you are spending time with your children this Father’s Day, do not forget to thank your own father and grandfather for being there for you.
Also, take the time to thank military veteran fathers—current and past—for their service and for sacrificing time away from their families. Veteran families struggle when fathers are deployed and we need to keep them in our thoughts this Father’s Day. If you know of a veteran with children, reach out to their children this Father’s Day, spend some time with them, or just tell them how much you appreciate their father.
To all the fathers in the force out there, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY and thank you for your service!
If you want to thank a veteran or police father for Father’s Day, reply to this article with your thoughts and well wishes.
About the Author: Matt Loux has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and has a background in fraud, criminal investigation, as well as hospital, school, and network security. Matt has researched and studied law enforcement and security best practices for the past 10 years.