I’m Not a Fucking Cop

Not anymore, anyway

Nikki Waterson

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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

I can finally say it. I mean, I could always say it, but I would have been lying. Just like Leo DiCaprio in The Departed, the words ‘I am not a fucking cop!’ were a lie. Now they aren’t. Now I’m not a fucking cop.

It’s not that I had to say it that often.

It’s more that I felt I was lying — whenever I felt uncomfortable being asked about what I do, or where I work. I’d find ways to avoid the question, or redirect.

People do this all the time though; we mask our jobs, relationship status, political affiliation and hobbies. In the right situation, we’ll hide almost anything.

But most of society, cop or no, can probably understand a desire in the blue uniformed line of work to hide this from others at times. Wherever on the scale of ‘positive to complex to negative’ feelings about the po-po you sit, you probably won’t be surprised by that.

So about a month ago, I resigned. My career in the police tallied up to 12 years of my life that I will definitely never get back. But even though that saying is typically meant in a negative way, I don’t see that as a bad thing.

In fact, goodbye to the past 12 years, I don’t want you back. 2023 is drawing to it’s conclusion and I’m stoked to be here. Lucky, in fact.

And now I’m in a spot where I really hesitate to write more on the police and my views on my experience as an Australian Police Officer. I have a lot of things to work through. To understand how much is for me to process and seek my own closure. Versus how much is worth sharing.

But I will say this. The absolute tragedy of two police lives lost last week is heartbreaking. Not only that but the South Australian Police Commissioner’s 18 year old son was killed in a hit and run. These were colleagues and a colleague’s family member. I hope the families of those who have died are given all the support and care that anyone deserves when a loved one dies.

The first sign that anyone had died in my peripheral circles last week was the mass Facebook profile picture change.

A blue and black line horizontally struck through theSouth Australian police emblem. Replacing happy faces of colleagues, their families, whatever they had before. Goodbye smiles, only those ominous SA Police emblems in mourning. They still sit there, they will for a while.

I don’t know how else to wrap up this post. It’s hard when your feelings around the police are complex, not just positive or negative, to leave, mourn, judge, forgive, move forward. It’s going to be a while. Anyone who has grieved anything before knows that. And it feels important to acknowledge the awful losses of 3 humans, all different ages, places and reasons, but all too young.

Stay safe.

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Nikki Waterson

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