Protection of Privacy
When Brent and I moved to Los Angeles, we began to pay a small fee every month to keep our names out of the phonebook. Because I grew up in a small town, this was very foreign to me! But it was for our protection. My husband dealt with questionable characters on duty; therefore, revenge was a possibility. One of the protections we put in place was controlling what information was available to the public. This was before the dawn of the Internet.
There are other things we do as well. We don’t shout to the world what his occupation is. When we are out and about, we blend in. We keep to ourselves, but Brent is always watching. He sits in strategic spots with his back against a wall, in view of the exits. He will zero in on suspicious behavior and be ready to jump in (or leave), should something go awry. Most of the time, the kids and I aren’t even aware of his vigilance. We choose our friends wisely. Most cops end up hanging out with other cops, mainly because they understand and trust each other. Brent and I have maintained friendships with both cops and non-cops; it seems to keep our lives in balance. We haven’t had any issues with this—most of the time. At times his cop mentality has offended others, but, for the most part, non-cop people are fascinated by the stories and ask lots of questions.
Neighbors are a different thing. We can’t dictate who lives next door. Depending on the neighborhood, we’ve both kept quiet, and informed our neighbors that he was law enforcement. At times it has helped others to know who he is, but not everyone is happy about it. One December night Brent was on the roof, putting up Christmas lights. Suddenly our neighbor pulled up and said that there was a young man dressed in dark clothing on the side of a single lady’s home down the street. Brent jumped in the car and went to investigate, finding him hiding in a ravine. He instantly slipped into cop mode, interrogating the kid as to what he was doing. After an hour or so of following the kid home, calling the sheriff, and calming the neighbors’ nerves, we went to bed. The next morning we awoke to vandalized Christmas decorations. Of course, we knew exactly who did it. The kid lived in a rental the next street over, so we held a neighborhood watch meeting, contacted the owner, and by Christmas they were gone. Wouldn’t you know? A string of petty thefts in the area ended at the exact same time.