Being married to someone who puts their life on the line everyday can be overwhelming and uncertain.
A national program called Wives Behind the Badge is designed to change that.
Now it’s gaining ground in Maine as a support group for law enforcement families.
“My husband’s been in law enforcement for 25 years with this department, so we’ve lived it our whole lives, together.”
Missi Potter knows what it’s like to be married to her husband’s job as a Bangor Police Officer.
She wants to guide other wives who are learning that lifestyle, too.
“Just knowing you’re not alone in it. You’re not the only one who doesn’t have a husband sleeping beside you every night or isn’t there on Christmas morning. You can just come together. It is a family.”
“All of the men spend every day together and we might not know the wife of another officer. But this is a great way to get to know them.”
Elishia Townsend is Maine’s director of the Wives Behind the Badge program, which offers women help on how to balance the demands of a dangerous job with family.
“We’d make special trips to come in when he’s working. If he has a lunch break, we’d come and eat with him. Or just when he’s home, too, that’s family time.”
Bangor Police Lieutenant Paul Edwards believes the program can offer a valuable support system.
“A lot of times officers are sheltered. We become sheltered, we become separate almost. We feel like it’s hard to share those things unless you’re with your brothers or sisters you work with and I know some guys and some gals will talk to their spouses openly about some things during the day, but you know what? You still don’t really get the whole good feel of it.”
Townsend and Potter hope the network of women will grow and make a big difference for law enforcement families.
“Just knowing how to come alongside each other and other wives to help each other out to make sure things are happening so our husbands can go and do the job they need to do,” says Potter. “We’re all in this together, this is a family affair, honestly.”
Wives Behind the Badge is showing support for law enforcement officers by hosting a blood drive in their honor.
It’s Monday, January 20th at Calvary Chapel in Orrington Noon to 5 p.m.
For more information on the program, you can check out the Facebook page, Maine Wives Behind the Badge.