WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – While many families get to spend the holidays together, others have to deal with their loved ones being away on the job.
Police officers work year-round, seven days a week to protect our communities.
So what’s that like for their families?
One wife says her husband is working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. It’s not like this every year, but it’s a sacrifice of the job, they learn to accept and appreciate.
Dana Schmitt says her children won’t be rushing to the tree Christmas morning.
“My kids will be waiting for 5:30 to come for dad to walk through the door to open their presents with dad,” said Dana Schmitt, WPD officer’s wife.
She says it’s part of the lifestyle police families adjust to. Dana has talked to other officers’ spouses who worry about their kids if dad or mom is working the holidays. She tells them how you react matters.
“I think as long as we’re we don’t show that we’re upset, or we’re nervous or anything the kids just kind of follow,” said Schmitt.
It isn’t a change Debra Marks has experienced just yet.
“He’s been off since we’ve been together for the holidays,” said Debra Marks, WPD officer’s girlfriend.
But it’s a schedule she expects in the future. And after several years of dating an officer, she knows what it’s like to worry when they’re on the job.
“There’s been some scary moments, when he’s been out on calls on a shooting or something and it’s like okay, well is he going to be okay?” said Marks.
Dana says it’s times like these that you rely on your police family for support, which she says, is always there both on and off holidays.
“We might not know each other, but they’re a family and if anybody needs anything, you can call and someone will be there,” said Schmitt.
The women say it’s a team they and their partners are proud to be in.
“He loves his job and he loves getting to protect and serve others and just getting to help people,” said Marks.
The women say there are multiple support groups on Facebook for police spouses and encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out.