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
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
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
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.