The Final Inspection

I did not write what follows.  I have heard this read at both police and military funerals.  155 police officers have died this year.  That is only five less than the number of officers killed last year.  Sadly, there are still two weeks left in the year.  I pray my cynically negative opinion on the odds are baseless and incorrect.

During this Christmas season (and every other day), hold the officer(s) in your life close and let them know you love them.

“The Final Inspection

The policeman stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining.
Just as brightly as his brass.

Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?”

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,
Because those of us who carry badges
can’t always be a saint.

I‘ve had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I’ve been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
That wasn’t mine to keep….
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you’ve a place for me here,
Lord,
 It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don’t…..I’ll understand.

There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

Step forward now, policeman,
You’ve borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets,
You’ve done your time in hell.”

Author Unknown

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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6 thoughts on “The Final Inspection

  1. Thanks for sharing this. As you may have seen, we lost a brother this past weekend at the USPP. I’ll be sure to hang this up in the station as soon as I get back.

  2. Unfortunately, this number is up to 158 in just one day. Not good, not good at all…

    I’d say the biggest issue is the sheer increase in the number of officers who are being killed by suspects trying to shoot their way out rather than go to jail. I’m on the civilian side of the fence, but am I the only one who’s noticed how much worse this particular issue has gotten over the last five or so years? Are we seeing a social trend here?

  3. That gave me chills. Very humbling to realize again what you and others choose to do with your life to protect the rest of us. I don’t personally know any police officers but I hold each of you in high regard and highly respect what you do in the name of service.

    • And I am humbled that although you don’t personally know any police officers, you took the time to a)read this post and b) reply.

      Thank you, Becky.