#WhyIWearTheBadge: Deputy Dee Patterson
Deputy Dee Patterson, School Resource Officer, Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office
I’ve thought about this all week, trying to come up with something cool or profound. And then today, after a long, frustrating day, it hit me. I wear the badge for them. For all the kids, and the staff, and the community I serve. On days like today, I don’t like it much. In fact, sometimes I wish I could quit, that I could just walk away and not care anymore. But the truth is I can’t, because I do.
I care about the kids who are trying to find their way; making mistakes that I hope won’t turn into choices. I care about the teachers, many who teach just for the chance that they will see a child’s true joy in learning. I care about what my family sees in me and how I represent them to everyone else I encounter. And I care about how I will one day be judged for the choices I’ve made in my life.
So yeah, in the end, words like honor and integrity, and grace and passion, are all words I would use to describe myself. It took me 35 years before I fulfilled my dream to wear this badge, and sometimes it feels a lot heavier than it did at the beginning. I have felt pain that I never considered before my family pinned the badge on. And I have lost friends and mentors, seeing firsthand the sacrifice others are willing to make because they believe in this cause.
I am not a hero. I am a mom and a wife; an aunt and a daughter. And I am blessed with this burden, this challenge to keep this community, these citizens, and their children, safe. I am a cop, and I am proud to wear the badge.
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