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Losing your identity

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                                                                    Losing your identity

Is being retired stress or stress free?

I do not know how others feel I just know how I feel. Being retired is not a fun life. I miss the job, the adrenalin rush from call to call, and the lull when all was quiet. To me working the night shift was best. It is when all the good stuff happened. Yes, I worked more then one job as a law enforcement officer. I was the one who could not get enough. I loved it that much. It ran in my veins, I found out today that my great grandfather was a New York Police Officer before he came to Louisiana. And I only thought my Moms grandfather was a police officer he was Sheriff of St John the Baptist.

My great uncles were also police on my fathers side. One was Sheriff of St. Bernard Parish the other was an Officer killed in the line of duty in 1923. My father held more commission then I knew about.

But having to retire from a job I loved due to the hands of someone else while I was off duty, was not how I had intended to live my life as a retired Officer in my late 20s. I've been retired for over 15 years, but every day I miss the job. I see the look in young rookies face when I say retired they look at me like I am crazy. The disbelief hurts and hurts deep.

I have learned over the years how to handle it. Thanks to my good friends who knew how to show me a direction in my life. I still stop at an accident scene if no one is there. Some Deputies do not like it but others say Thanks. I learned if they do not like it. I do not carry a weapon anymore, I could if I wanted. Earlier this summer I put my hat in to be Sheriff of Abita Springs was one of a few, I saw right before they announced it they passed a law saying you had to live in the parish for a year.

I just knew they were not ready for a woman to be Police Chief or Sheriff in this State of Louisiana. To me life would be easier if our departments came to see that some of us who retire would like to help out with things around the department.

I would be lying if I said life was a joy after retirement, it is not, I just came to realize how to put my energies in to other means. To some who may not have the friends or who pull away from the friends after retirement that is what worries me. They do not have the connection to find other options.

I am one of the lucky few. I may have stress of being retired but I found a way to handle it...to a certain extent.

Dee Dee Serpas is a retired police officer from Kenner Police Department (Louisiana).  Currently, she is the President of the TAPS Memorial Web site.   Following in the footsteps of her great-grandfather, Sheriff Paul Berthelot, Sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish, and that of her father, who was president of FOP Lodge 2 in the late 1950s, Dee Dee became a Police Officer. First with the East Jefferson Levee Board Police, she also joined the Kenner Police Department and was the only female to graduate from the academy that year. Later, she joined the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office as a street cop. This makes her the only known female in Louisiana to have held three commissions at the age of 21.

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