Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just Thankful I have a Job!

In August, 2008, I retired from 24 years of being a Cop. I have been both a Utah State Trooper, and an Agent with the State Bureau of Investigation. One of my favorite assignments was singing in the Department of Public Safety Ensemble. Our ensemble group is pictured here with Governor Leavitt and the Lieutenant Governor at the state capital where we had been performing for some dignitaries. We sang at all kinds of venues like the Jazz game and other sports events. We sang at the new Citizen swearing in ceremonies, funerals etc. - but mostly we sang at dignitary events.

I also liked investigations - a lot - I worked as an undercover agent working liquor and vice crimes for many years. This young man was caught buying a keg for his senior party. We rather ruined it I'm afraid. Most of my work was actually in bars and seedy parts of town. However, it was really sort of a safe (or it seemed to me) excitement, being undercover - more like playing a part on stage than work. Since my major in college was theater (actually, musical theater), the undercover work was actually the best acting job I ever had - and I was paid steadily, unlike my actual work in the theater. Here are two of my co-workers, Rob Humphrey and Jeff Dunn and I on a very difficult undercover assignment - no really! It was tough climbing the red rocks to watch our enemies . . . Looks like we got caught - Sergeant Dale Neal taking the photo!

Here I am undercover . . . o.k. this is not real. I stole the guy from the internet and photo-shopped myself into it to depict my undercover stuff. I don't have any photos of actually being undercover . . . too bad, I had some really wild "bar clothes" . . . well, wild for me. Actually they were all really very tame in the bars! I don't drink at all, so I had a hundred (or so) ways to pretend to drink and fit into the crowd without really being part of the crowd. Like I said, best acting job I ever had!

Later, I transferred from the undercover stuff to solving Identity theft and financial crimes. I loved that too, a giant puzzle (I like puzzles) to solve, but the stakes are higher!

However, there comes a time when you know it is just time to go . . . and it just was my time.

Actually, I always feel like the Lord blesses me with jobs, 'cause he feels kindly, sorry for me, or he just knows that I need a little boost. Mosly when it appears that I can't do it for myself. He lets me work most things out, encouraging me when appropriate. But then there are those times that He just sort of hands things to me. He makes the stars align, the mountain move and the sea part, and it does not matter how unusual or who opposes it. He just moves the opposition out of the way, and sticks me in there. It happened when I was hired as a trooper with the highway patrol. It also happened with my new job which I will go into later. I want to publicly thank Him for his great love and kindness. I have always been able to support my family, be it humble . . . and I have been truly blessed. So, here is my story -My 24 years with the Department of Public Safety began this way:

In 1983, my short marriage to Lou was ending (That is another story I will tell on another day). But the fallout was simple. I had an infant in my arms, and no means to support myself. I was left alone in our big house (which I actually loved), still a student of the U, and no income. I had been praying so diligently about a direction, and for help, as I needed to provide for myself and my two sons. I was not yet finished with my education at the U, and the house was being sold. One night, however, or rather in the wee morning hours, I was up nursing my baby. I was so sad, but very prayerful. I just thought that maybe I should turn on the TV for comfort, and a sort of companionship. I was (and still am not) much of a television watcher, and so I rarely knew what shows were popular. However, that night I watched one whole re-run episode of “Cagney and Lacy” (which I had never seen before, nor since). I had the impression that maybe I could be a detective. However, I had no idea how to go about it.

The following day I looked through the Yellow Pages and found P.O.S.T. (police officer standards and training) and decided to call them. I naively asked the woman on the other end of the phone how I could be a "detective." She kindly snickered at me, and said I would have to go through the academy, and to do that I would have to be hired by an agency and be a street cop first. I thanked her and was about to hang up when added this tid bit. She told me that many police agencies hired from a statewide test that was given every six months for possible recruits. She said, however, that the deadline to sign up was “today”. I pulled myself together, packed up my boys and filed my application that very day.

It seems amazing I as look at it, and at the time, I thought it quite ludicrous. I was not in any physical condition to be taking that required P.T. test, (only six weeks after my son was born). When I arrived at the gym, unprepared for anything in my mind, I looked around and saw what I thought were about 500 giant men in gym clothes. I suddenly thought it quite funny, and decided that being with 500 men by myself could not be all that bad.

Most fortunately for me, the trainer also took a kindly liking to me. I did well on the written exams but failed nearly every physical test they had. When others were wet with perspiration, I was wet with breast milk! I tried to splash water on myself from the sprinkler to make it look like I was just really into hard physical training.

I was hired! That same wonderful trainer worked with me day after day, and after hours to get me physically through the academy. I think I was hired as one of their mascot women at the time. We (women) were not well liked back then and we were considered a threat to "real" cop’s safety . However, I knew this job was a direct blessing to my prayers. I found out later that a bunch of the Captains had made wagers on me, whether or not I would even make it through P.O.S.T. - most were betting against me. Fortunately, they lost their money - but then, it was not really my doing. You see, they could not have known the promises the Lord made with me. He makes a way and I know it was a direct answer to my humble pleadings. NEVER in a million years would I have thought to do something so outrageous and against my personality. But there is not one doubt in my mind his hand was in it from the beginning. It is not just the seeming coincidences. I could also feel it happening. That part I can't describe, but I knew it was out of my hands or the Captains, or anyone. I knew I would be hired.

My new job? I now work for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control as a licensing and compliance Investigator. I work the civilian side of what I did for years on the law enforcement side. However, I felt that same sense of just being moved along, all things falling into place. There were two hundred and something, something other applicants, and even some opposition from some of the employees about hiring a cop for that position. Never the less, the Lord has once again given me a slice of pie, just because he loves me.

There are adjusments, (like driving my own car), Thanks Dad for helping me . . . with the repair bill! but I am very happy doing what I am doing. Hopefully I will be an asset, and be able to continue supporting those who need me. Especially, my dear, dear God who loved me all along.


  1. Great story. I admire you very much and I, too, feel everything happens for a reason. I am glad that you are happy in your new job. I'm sure you will be an asset. Also, you are a hot mama in your car!

  2. I think I need photoshop. It's looks like loads of fun. I just discovered a photo program this week (already on my computer that I didn't even know I had) that enables me to whiten teeth and smooth facial lines. Don't think I'm afraid to use it if necessary. Too bad I didn't know about it all this year when I was taking photos. BTW, I love the photo of you and Daisy in front of the bean plant. So cute. LOL


  3. You are one brave lady! I have always felt like I have been one of the Lord's favorites, I guess I am not alone, ha ha!

  4. Wow Margaret! I just sort of stumbled upon your blog while searching for addresses of previous neighbours. What a great read!

    Kind of funny that the kid with the keg had a D.A.R.E. shirt on isn't it?


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