Photo: Alyeska marine terminal, Valdez
Larre told some stories about his work as a Valdez police office during the days of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline construction. He liked keeping people safe, and the sense that he was contributing to something important.
Valdez was a real boom town, with all the good and bad a boom entails. One thing he didn't like about the job was the frequency of his encounters with the criminal element a boom attracts. Scammers, thieves and ne’er-do-wells of all stripes; they wash in with the tide of money.
He also didn’t like that his circle of friends was somewhat restricted. Many people seem to find it hard to make friends with cops. Or maybe there were so many lowlifes that it was hard to run across the friendly people.
I imagine that many officers can lose sight of what they like about the job. They are always going to encounter challenging people. It helps when they can balance that out with more friends. (Probably not.)
In these days of everyone living in their "social silos," the separation between us and them is widening. I'm sure the occasional cookie or "Thanks for your service" can be a day-brightener, but it occurs to me there's more I could do to reach out to some of the them in my life. I'm gonna make an effort.