Hanging up the phone I was excited and pumped up. So I called Mike, who was also excited and, since I’m an active Face Booker, I immediately starting posting about it. On my personal page, my friends shared my excitement but, on our More Than a Cop page I heard skepticism about such a project and warnings to stay away. A number of other police wives had also been contacted and the reactions were wary. But I still kept an open mind because I know I am extremely smart when it comes to human behavior. I can see through people better than most. Plus, I was having fun and I’m a risk taker. We have had the opportunity to walk through many an open door that has led to a life changing opportunity, such as writing for Officer.com, so we always try to keep an open mind to new projects.
But also during this time some alarm bells were going off and I also know I will never do anything to jeopardize my reputation as a successful therapist. That part of my life remains behind closed doors for ethical and legal reasons. I have a solid reputation in Joliet and I did not want a season of my life to destroy what I’ve worked a life-time to achieve. But I also know my character and have confidence in my lifestyle to know there is nothing that could be revealed that could cause doubt in me. In fact, I think if someone were to follow me around it would be quite boring; there is simply no chaos or drama in our lives. There is nothing that would attract the reality TV viewer and this is what prompted my next conversation with Mercedes. I called her later that day to tell her my concerns and I was matter-of-fact and to the point. I told her that if this is a reality TV show with manufactured relationships then I am not interested. I also told her if she wants people who have chaos in their lives, or people who are attracted to drama, they will be very bored with me. I stressed I would never do anything to put a bad reputation on myself, my professional career, my husband and his department, or other police wives... however, if they are looking for someone who can educate others about what it means to have a healthy and diversified life as a police wife, then I am interested.
Needless to say the phone calls stopped.
Yesterday I read an article on Law Enforcement Today by Chaplain Allison Urbine (link below) where she expresses sage advice on not allowing the reality show world, from which I understand there are multiple casting companies seeking out police wives, into our lives. She very eloquently states,
“As our officers serve and protect our city, we as spouses need to help in protecting our homes.”
As an active FaceBooker, I had many police wives reach out to me privately stating they would be interested in participating in a project if it does truly educate the world on who we are; there is a lot of negative press about our officers and those we love and an opportunity to dispel and counter it would be nice.
Many stated (paraphrased) “if there is anything I can do to promote healthy lifestyles and relationships in a profession that is known for their divorces, alcoholism, affairs with badge bunnies, and suicide, then I’m in! I want to show the world that what is traditionally portrayed in police dramas, novels, and movies is not always true. I want to show them how to make this lifestyle work, for my officer & I work are intentional about creating a life that is fun, happy, and benefits us both. If this is a documentary where I can help to educate others and this is a positive medium to do so, I want to answer this call of duty!”
I identified with each of those wives who reached out to me, because it is my passion also to progress the profession. It is honorable & noble and I want the world to know how special and unique it is. I want police spouses & partners to be admired, encouraged, & praised for they are dedicated servants without the recognition. So I wish that was what I found out to be the true intent of the casting producer who called me.
I agree with Allison Urbine that we have a duty to protect our officers and home. That is how we serve and protect. This project was not a good fit for me and I did not feel it was the best interest of the profession or who we are as angels behind the badge. It is my hope that there will be future opportunities to educate the public through non-traditional mediums on who we are with the dignity we deserve. In the meantime, I will continue to keep an open mind each time an opportunity presents itself and then do my due diligence to safeguard my home, officers, & the angels behind the badge.