I love taking photos of police that tell a story, or speak to my heart. This self portrait is full of stories. I joked today with a new(er than me) officer telling her that her shiny badge was a sign of newness. I politely offered to dull it up in Photoshop a bit and put some artificial wear on it, but she declined. I respect that. Her badge looks great. I hope it stays shiny.
This badge of mine has a lot of marks on it. I may wear a polo, or a suit and tie when I’m feeling nice, but I worked midnight patrol for 10 years. 7 years in Arkansas. These days I work child abuse but I promise you I still have it. The biggest scratch on this badge was from last month, it runs straight across the holder.
Each mark has a case number, and most likely some or a lot of jail time attached to it. Some of these marks run deeper than just cosmetics. People can be terrible to each other, and even awful to themselves and I have seen and felt it all in person in live, living color with all of the emotion, sights, smells, sounds and details that stick with you.
This job leaves deep marks on your personality, your heart, and your relationships. I thank the lord for my wife. Some of these marks hit her as hard as they have hit me. I thank god for being a constant ride a long. I’m sorry for the days that I forgot he was there. Police is a calling that is not for everyone. If I had to do it over again knowing the full price up front, I would still do it.
I am only one of 250 badges at Waco PD. They all have stories like mine.
Photo by Emily Eaton, Nikon D700 50mm 1/60 F/5 ISO100 Lighting by P.Buff.