"Working people have alot of bad habits, but the worst of these is work." Clarence Darrow
Snow fell for the second day in a row. The roads were slick, but not icy. Amazingly, there was an accident - a fender bender - in the other lane of traffic. Everyone was out of the cars, and two Lakewood agents - what we call officers - were collecting information and documents from the drivers.
A woman officer held something in her hand, examining it carefully. The other, a tall young man with glasses, chatted comfortably with one of the owners. He smiled broadly, as did the citizen in front of him. A routine traffic accident, handled expertly by professional police officers.
A newly-minted agent texted me a photo recently, of her uniform shirt bearing her badge. She'd turned in the small recruit badge for the "big" one of an officer now certified to work solo. She'd made it, joined the ranks of those who've been, or are, Lakewood cops stretching back to 1970. The shield didn't strike me as hard as the name plate.
We are all known professionally by our first initial, and then our last name. My name plate, and the name strips on my cycling uniforms, all say "J. GREER." Regardless of rank or assignment, just J. Greer. She is now... Well, that's not the way we do things at Bikecopblog.
Retirement looms large, the concluding years of a long career passing quickly. I have begun the process, in my heart if not my head, of entrusting the profession I love to these men and women, the "kids" working a traffic accident, the friend proudly displaying her uniform. The cherished culture of a proud cop shop now belongs, in a very real sense, to them.
It'll be cool, friends. They have it.