Officer John?

Last summer I started thinking again about the idea of becoming a police. I applied around ten years ago, twice, and didn’t go all the way. If I would have applied a few more times I would have eventually got it, but I lost interest. And then the idea struck me again last year. It was probably an affect of covid and things like this. Sometimes I feel like my job as a writer and journalist doesn’t really make a difference; does it actually mean anything? Ever since I was younger, I’ve wanted to make an impact, and help people. I also get really irritated when I see people act like idiots – in the traffic, on the street, anywhere. People have told me it would suit me too. And then I let the idea go again…

Writing can be a lot of fun and I’m so thankful I’m able to do it fulltime. But I love the idea of doing good and representing a force for good. The problem is, I’m scared of getting hurt. I’m not the one to be quite if something goes wrong, I will speak up if I see a problem. 

I used to work as a youth coach at a youth centre, several years ago. And I would often get in trouble because I was the only one to tell the teenagers off. We had kids up to 20 years old (I was 23) and a lot of our visitors were the rougher ones in the neighborhood, with weapons and drugs. I remember one particular evening that turned rough. 

I think it started with two of the youngsters having an argument. These two in particular had history together and never really got on well. And this Friday evening, things were getting heated. They started raising their voices out of nowhere, and the other youngsters became more and more quite. I got in the middle and tried to break it up, I made one of them leave the building. He couldn’t stand it because he thought I was favouring the other by letting him stay inside. Anyway, he lost it and ganged up with a few of his friends and wanted to beat me up. The evening turned ugly and the police were called in, our manager came in as well (and it was around midnight on a Friday). And suddenly, it felt like a huge gang was outside of the building, trying to get in, as if it were a scene from West Side Story. I didn’t care; I just wanted the idiots to cool it. My point is, if I can stop something bad from happening, I will try. And sometimes that puts me in the line of fire… And being in the line of fire as a police, in a situation with guns, is not a place I want to be. So for now, I wont be applying to police school. 

A couple of months back I did a big translation job. Sometimes I translate fact magazines with different themes and topics. This one happened to be called Death Row, and was about prisoners who had been sentenced to death and the crimes they had committed. It was a heavy project, and a lot of the time I had to take a break and sit back and breathe out. Humans really are strange sometimes. Some of the crimes were so horrible to read about; to be a police in a case like that can’t be easy. It must be life changing. 

For the moment it’s not my calling. I am finding my work as a writer more and more meaningful, and that I actually can make a difference for people through my writing. The picture for this post is from a film project I did when I was 23, wearing a Swedish police uniform. This was during the time I worked as a youth coach. 

Song of the day: Michael Ruff – What Kind of World 


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