I became a Police Officer at the ripe old age of 19. I have spent my entire adult life proudly wearing a badge but sometimes look back at some of the decisions I made in the first few years of my career and cringe. The world was black and white to me then, a simple universe of right and wrong. The color grey was not in my visual spectrum and so I rode my patrol car like a white steed, with a self perception that I was indeed a righter of wrongs. I led the department in arrests and citations, believing that those statistics were the measurements of success. Fortunately, in my third year a new Sergeant took over my squad, a man whose courage and leadership would profoundly affect my life. One morning after a particularly busy shift he invited me to breakfast which I eagerly accepted. I remember looking out of the greasy diners window while I regaled my Sergeant with my nights exploits of arrests and action. He listened and smiled and when I was done, he said, "Randy, you are really a good cop. You know the laws, you work your butt off and I can trust your word. But do you know the difference between being a good cop and a great cop?". I beamed with pride at the accolades but was completely flummoxed by the question. I think that I stammered something about not knowing when he smiled at me and said the words that would forever change the way I viewed myself and my role. "The difference is only one thing Randy. The difference is compassion." That was a defining moment in my life and the legacy of that Sergeant will live on through the many lives that I have touched along my life's journey.
Submitted by Anonymous
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