By the time I was a junior in high school, I knew that I was going to be a police officer. My sense of right and wrong had always been strong, and I was the one who often stood between bullies and the bullied. I knew without a doubt that this was my calling – to don the uniform, badge, and gun.
At seventeen, I became a police explorer, Troop 247 to be exact. The first meeting was at the Harker Heights Police Department. I walked into the first meeting not knowing anyone, and told them I would someday work for that very same department. They laughed, but I knew then this would be the place for my life’s work. When I was told I had to learn at least half of the 100 required 10-codes and half of the phonetic alphabet, I memorized all 100 of them and Adam through Zebra. I got excited every time I was given permission to ride with the officers. Even traffic stops fascinated me – everything did. I watched, and I learned. Immediately upon graduating high school, I began taking Criminal Justice classes at the local community college, and, as they say, the rest is history. I was hired two weeks after I turned 21. Continue reading “Life Outside of the Police Badge: A Story of Alcoholism and Sobriety”→
What do family gatherings, turkey and ham, pies and cookies, shopping, endless commercials of holiday events and cheer and the ever so popular Hallmark Channel specials all have in common? If you said “the holidays” you would be right. But what happens when your view of the hustle and bustle is not that of a Hallmark movie, but instead a horror film that you play over and over in your mind. What happens when you are faced with the overwhelming feeling of having to put the mask on, smile for the family, spend an overabundance of money and eat an abundance of pumpkin pie, when all you really want to do is lock yourself in your room and try to stop the slide show full of holiday tragedies that is playing in that ever dreaded auto repeat mode.
As first responders, we often have worked holidays either because we were the least senior team member and it was our “rite of passage” to give up the “day off” until we gained some seniority. To others we, at times, chose as senior ranking team members of our departments to allow someone else the day off to be with their families. At any rate, I would venture to say that at some point in your career, you have responded to a call or been involved in something that would be classified as a critical incident. Continue reading “Haunting the Holidays”→
Trooper Thomas A. Peoples, 31, began February 7, 1998, like many other days – at the Hallmark Restaurant eating breakfast with a few friends. Traffic in Killeen, Texas, would prove to be kind of quiet busy that morning. A small accident, a traffic ticket – little to note.
Shortly after 11:00 am, Peoples, who had been an officer for five years, heard a call from DPS Waco Communications about an extremely intoxicated driver, weaving his way from Waco on IH 35 to Killeen. With the driver 40 miles away, Peoples continued to listen to updates on the DUI’s movements, but knew it was still too far away to control. Continue reading “Trooper Tells Story of Depression and How He Escaped It”→