If I gave you every single answer I have for this question, this article would take months to produce, it would be hundreds of thousands of words long and it would take you hours to read. That is the most beautiful thing about the Thin Blue Line. Everyone has their own opinions and their own reasons why they love being a part of the Thin Blue Line. I can only speak for myself, and will never try to assume I know what the masses are feeling. I do have a feeling, however, that what I think about the job, some others also feel.
I cannot remember a time growing up that I didn’t want to become a police officer. Even extending into my high school, college and Army days, I held on to that dream of becoming a police officer. That feeling never left me. I have a hypothesis about why this happened to me and it may even border the philosophical realm. I believe that true police officers were born with the drive to right wrongs and serve others. I don’t believe someone can be taught the drive to become a police officer. Those that think they can, often find themselves looking for new jobs; that’s if they were able to find a way into the profession to begin with (it happens). Something inside almost all of us just tells us that this is the profession, this is the life-style in which we belong. There’s not much more to that. So how does this play into why the Thin Blue Line is such a close brotherhood? As I stated before, I can only speak for myself. I enjoy knowing that the men and women serving with me, to my left and to my right, hold some of the same drive I know exists within myself. Just by this and this alone, I feel a unique closeness to them that I cannot describe to anyone else, nor can I compare it to any other relationship in my life. I am a strong believer in the “family comes first” motto. In no other profession (besides public service or military) do I believe you can include your co-workers into your true definition of family.
There is, arguably, no one closer to a person than their own family. Family has similar genetic makeup, similar blood, similar character traits.
I will argue until the day has come, that this bodes the same for men and women in law enforcement. We have the same genetic makeup. I am determined that this is the truth. I do not have scientific studies or educational research to prove this fact, but I do not believe, within our industry, this would go over with much argument against it. A police officer must be strong-willed and competitive, refusing to give up, and willing to put himself before others every single day. This is not taught, this is not learned, this is engrained in the body, in the mind and in the spirit of the law enforcement officer. There is something in every single one of us that is genetically the same. Whether it lies in our brains or in our hearts, I am not sure, but it is certainly there.
We bleed similar blood. This is more of a philosophical stand point than any. I do not mean physically that we are all O Positive blood type. What I mean is that our morals, our beliefs, the fuel that gets us out of bed every single day is made of similar content. When we literally bleed, all other LEO’s metaphorically bleed with us. When one of us literally falls, all LEO’s metaphorically fall with us. We feel each other’s pain, we cry with each other, we laugh with each other, we fight with each other, but never against. We have empathy, we refuse apathy and we will grind and toil until covered in mud and blood, with the objective completed. When we stand back up and I look at you, and you at me, we both know that each other is the reason we fight so hard for the finish line. What makes your blood boil, inevitably makes my blood boil. I would trade my blood for yours, and you would trade yours for mine. With a work environment like that, how could you not call us family?
Police officers within the Thin Blue Line have similar character traits, just as literal family has. We live our lives of honesty, duty, respect, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage all while expecting nothing in return but the cooperation of our society. Inevitably, and unfortunately this cooperation sometimes becomes lost in translation. Despite this fact, we will continue to serve, without prejudice but with justice. While dressed in plain clothes, I can spot an officer and he can spot me, but the public may not be able to do so as easily. It is in the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we sit, the way we converse, the way we keep our heads up and on a swivel and the way we treat people with respect, until respect has been lost. We are family oriented individuals, working long hours and holidays to provide for the people we love the most. We will step in for the Thin Blue Line when another officer is struggling with family issues. Inevitably, his/her family is also my family. My family is also their family.
So why is the Thin Blue Line such a close brotherhood? If presented in front of a court, with proper jurisdiction, the ruling would be that, with proof beyond a reasonable doubt, our Thin Blue Line is such a close brotherhood because we fall under the definition of family, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and best friends.