Change is Possible - 22 December 2010
Recently I had one of the best days I have ever had since joining the Police.
Steve (name changed) was one of the scariest dudes in town when I was a new cop 14 years ago — gang member, violent and HATED us pigs!
Recently I attended a two day training seminar for Police. Two detectives I work with have got to know Steve in the last couple of years as their kids (and mine) play in the same rugby team as his.
Steve was made a ward of the state as a child, suffered severe physical abuse at the hands of his father, and spent 24 years as a patched gang member after joining the gang in the hope of finding someone to love him.
He now has two boys of his own. Earlier this year he was convicted of assaulting them. Since then, he has turned his life around. But a couple of months ago he found he couldn't sleep. He was awake for hours every night, he didn't know what was wrong.
His counsellor rang him one day and said ‘hey come and listen to this woman called Jude Simpson talk'. Well he did. After that he understood. He could sleep. The pieces finally fit.
Then his road to recovery took another huge jump forward. Steve came to the Police College with me. He had lunch in the dining hall. He stood up in a room full of 25 cops and told his story. He cried. We all cried. He slept all the way home — I think he was exhausted!
After hearing Jude's story Steve had the courage to share his. For those 25 cops who were lucky enough to be in that room for that 45 minutes, I am sure they will never forget it.
I dropped Steve off home and found myself giving him a hug. The man I was so scared of as a new cop, now the man who just took one of the biggest steps in his life. At 44 years of age, he talked about finally understanding what love was about.
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