Sunday, March 19, 2006

Detective Sergeant Retired

I finally cleaned out my locker the other night. I have been retired since February 2004, so it was about time! I have just avoided going out there for a long time. I did not want to run into some of the people that opposed my disability retirement. You see, I got an "in the line of duty" retirement, and some people disagreed with that. The law in the State of Florida asserts that if you did not have heart disease when you started your law enforcement job, and you got it - then it is presumed to have been caused by the job, thus a line of duty disability. The retirement board fought me "tooth & nail" and I was quite put off by that. I was always willing to "lay down my life" if required for my job. It hurt my feelings that no one stood up for me. As long as I was doing the job, being on call 24-7, then they were happy with me. Once I was of no further use to them, they turned their backs on me. My fault too, a job is just a job, and you should never get so involved that you take things personally. When I drove out to the PD, it was like old times when I used to get called out in the night for a major incident. It was late, and there wasn't much traffic, it only took about 20 minutes to get there. I could not find the duty officer, so I drove around using my detective skills to find him (find the all night coffee, find the cop). Sure enough, he was at the all night store commiserating with the cops of the adjacent jurisdiction. It was like old times, everyone was glad to see me. I could fall right back into the cop shop thing very easily. My heart won't let me though. As I cleaned out my locker of change of clothes, bullet proof vest, various tooth brushes, hair brushes, soap, towel, shoe polish, etc., I thought about how prepared I always was for any situation - to stay there for days if need be. I should have been more prepared for the inevitability of an accident or disability. In thinking about any career, you should remember this little poem that I found;
Take your hand and stick it in a bucket of water up to the wrist, then take it out and the hole that remains is a measure of how you'll be missed!


jellyhead said...

That must have been a weird feeling, going back to your workplace. Bittersweet, maybe?

Life changes, but often that can be a good thing .... new experiences await you!

Motherkitty said...

Man, I know the feeling. After 17 years on the job, and losing it, then going back for healthcare treatment -- what a bummer. How true your little poem. And, people are so fickle. They say they miss you, but what they really mean is, they're glad it was you and not them.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I also liked your little poem...and there is much truth to it.

I don't know why people turn on people just for the mere fact, over if it's a disability or not a's not like the pension money is coming straight out of their own pockets.

One day they may become disabled by heart disease themselves and also have to collect and I hope at that time they stop to think of the way they treated you. I just want to say I'm sorry to you for the way they treated you...but I know that it would have to come from them.

Anonymous said...

You know that there are those of us that worked with you and had to stay for a time after you left that genuinely missed you then and now. You are without a doubt one of the finest officers I ever had the pleasure of working with and I will always count you as one of my best friends even though we are now many miles apart. Hiding in the High Desert

doubleknot said...

I too am on disability and was let go from my job - my place of work is no longer there. I couldn't go back and see people even though they asked me to - it hurt to much the twists my life took.
I have a new life now and am happy - except for the list of doctors I have to see - gets really tiresome.
I hope you are making a new life for yourself and finding happiness.