#WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday – I Wear The Badge Because I Care

This post is part of our on-going #WhyIWearTheBadge Wednesday blog series.

Dee-Patterson-BestGuest blogger: Deputy Dee Patterson, School Resource Officer, Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office

I’ve thought about this all week, trying to come up with something cool or profound. And then today, after a long, frustrating day, it hit me. I wear the badge for them. For all the kids, and the staff, and the community I serve. On days like today, I don’t like it much. In fact, sometimes I wish I could quit, that I could just walk away and not care anymore. But the truth is I can’t, because I do.

I care about the kids who are trying to find their way; making mistakes that I hope won’t turn into choices. I care about the teachers, many who teach just for the chance that they will see a child’s true joy in learning. I care about what my family sees in me and how I represent them to everyone else I encounter. And I care about how I will one day be judged for the choices I’ve made in my life.

So yeah, in the end, words like honor and integrity, and grace and passion, are all words I would use to describe myself. It took me 35 years before I fulfilled my dream to wear this badge, and sometimes it feels a lot heavier than it did at the beginning. I have felt pain that I never considered before my family pinned the badge on. And I have lost friends and mentors, seeing firsthand the sacrifice others are willing to make because they believe in this cause.

I am not a hero. I am a mom and a wife; an aunt and a daughter. And I am blessed with this burden, this challenge to keep this community, these citizens, and their children, safe. I am a cop, and I am proud to wear the badge.

This #WhyIWearTheBadge story was first published on the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

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