April 12th, 2020

Check in on your family and friends

Mo Bro Bobby Bauer from the Moonachie Police Department opens up about life on the frontlines.
Mental Health

Being a police officer is something that has been ingrained in me since birth.  As a kid, I kept single issue comics of the Green Lantern, the “Intergalactic Lawman,” in my backpack, but I’m fortunate to know one of my real life heroes very well.  That person is my dad.  My father (who has also sported a moustache my entire life) was a police officer in the same town I grew up in.  He worked there for 24 years before being forced to retire following a traumatic neck injury at work.  I was very fortunate to see my father be a pivotal part of my community and am very thankful to still have him with me as someone I still consider my hero.  He was one of the primary officers involved in establishing a safety program for our school and taught once a week there.  I knew I wanted to be a police officer there and have the opportunity to give back to the community that helped raise me.
Prior to becoming a cop, I thought I had some insight into the police world through my father. I started my sixth year this year and am constantly reminded that there are new hurdles that we must face as both individuals and as a law enforcement community, one of them being mental health.  
As officers, we are sometimes presented with less than pleasant encounters and incidents that can weigh on us even after our shift ends.  Unfortunately, some officers carry this with them for extended periods of time because they are in need of mental health services.

bobby and his father 

I was fortunate to take part in Movember’s Undie Run in New York this past November where I ran with a first responder carrying the American flag to bring awareness to the first responder community battling these issues and illnesses. I’ve often heard the police community referred to as the ultimate fraternity. 
Today, I am extending this police family to become a global community, one where we can all do our part and play a vital role in bettering the world around us while we work to rid the world of COVID-19.  Please stay home and allow all medical workers and first responders to do our jobs as safely and efficiently as possible.  I’m someone who has to continue to go to work, but I then head straight home to remain as safe as possible.

That being said, being home alone doesn’t mean we have to be alone.  My co-workers and I check in with each other daily, both on and off of the shift.  My friends, who I consider my extended family, have done a great job of group video chatting with each other on a regular basis to serve as our temporary weekly hangout and calling each other to create a sense of normalcy that also serves as a mental health discussion. 
I’ve said I’ve seen the police world as a boy through my dad’s eyes. I’ve seen him work during 9/11 and I’ve seen us heal together.  There are silver linings everywhere and we must choose to see them.  I see us choosing to heal together again and not during the aftermath of the trauma and pain but while we battle this as a community.  Check in on your family and friends.  Be safe and know that we are always at our strongest when we work together. I’ll see you all when this is settled and I’m eternally grateful that the world has been so supportive of the law enforcement community during this difficult time.

Read more here