Attention LVMPD Officers...

Dear LVMPD Officer,

You may wonder why we exist. You may not know what we do. You may think a wives group has little value.

We want you to know why we exist and what we do. We want you to support us so that we can support you!

We exist to provide a safe place where we can connect socially and build friendships with whom we share a common bond. We want to support ALL (yes, we care about our single officers and our lady officers too! 😉) our families in good and bad times, and back you, our LVMPD Officers, with our love, support, and appreciation for the difficult job you do.

When something happens to you, your spouse or children, there is no organization we are aware of that is in place within the local law enforcement community here to assist you, aside from us.

Over the past 8 years, we've been the ones to come along the sides of so many within our metro family. We've done countless mealtrains for the families of our fallen officers, families who've lost a wife or a child, families battling illnesses, families who are welcoming a new addition, families who's officer has been injured in the line of duty, etc. We've done fundraisers for those who've lost their loved one, those battling an illness, and for our fallen officers' families to celebrate significant events in their lives so they know they are loved and remembered. We've provided childcare, cleaned houses, assisted with funeral details, decorations and food, and assisted our department with requests they've made of us, helped with LVMPD family events, and much more.

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Last year we saw the need for there to be a nonprofit in place that could raise funds for any law enforcement family in Nevada that had a catastrophic family circumstance. That lead us to expand  our mission of Police Wives of America. Our non profit gives all proceeds directly to  families in need. We work on a 100% volunteer basis, funding our organization independently through an online shop.

We have always done our best to be team players as our community is stronger when we support each other. I don't tout all we've done to ask for your praise, but rather to ask you for your support. Our department is large, and there is no shortage of struggles our families face. With your support, we can together make a difference in the lives of our LVMPD family and we will be stronger and better prepared to face whatever the future may hold.

Please, know that we are always here for ALL of our LVMPD Officers and their families. We back and support you, and we humbly request that you consider doing the same for us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

If you are an officer, will you please take 30 seconds to let your fellow officers know we exist? What will take you 30 seconds will leave a lasting impression on those around you. We'd greatly appreciate it!

God bless you!

Respectfully,
~Deborah Costello

Unite. Verb or noun?


I often get asked if I’m consumed with worry when my husband is working. I’m sure most of us field that question a lot. My answer has changed over the years. I’ve been a cop’s wife for a long time and, much like all things, my attitude toward his job has evolved.  When we were young and first married, my answer was a firm “no.” In fact, I almost found the question offensive.  I’d think “of course I don’t worry when he’s working - he’s trained and capable, strong and always on ‘the ready,’ why would I be anything but secure in that?” 

Things have changed…and they’ve changed significantly. I do worry now-- every second he’s not with me. I’m not even sure “worry” truly captures the sinking feeling of impending doom I’m finding myself in the last couple of years. Things like “routine” traffic stops and domestic violence calls are my enemy. My mind wanders to really unhealthy places until my phone rings or I receive a text message from him that all is well.  

Not only do I worry when he’s at work, I worry when he is or we’re in a public place together. We all know, there is no “off” switch – they’re alert and armed at all times and in all places ready to deal with anything. What if a robbery occurs and he’s put into a situation he has to react to? What if he’s outnumbered? What if his gun jams? What if my children are there? What if there’s no cover? 

Needless to say, life has changed. My attitude has changed. I’ve often teased him over the years about being “tainted” or “jaded,” ruined by what he’s seen throughout the course of his 20+ years in law enforcement. I have come to the stark conclusion that he isn’t the only one. 

No, I can’t change any of that. I haven’t even a lick of control over the lot of it. So what can I change?  This is the question…how can I parlay all of this worry and stress and concern into a greater good? Is that even possible?

Let me give you a little background on me. I grew up in the Ozarks of Southwest Missouri smack-dab in the middle of “Tornado Alley.”  I lived in a log cabin built with logs cut down and milled by my parents.  It had no inside walls and no basement and was in such a rural area that we didn’t even have tornado sirens.  My parents had a little radio called a “weather alert” and, in severe weather conditions, it would make the most awful shrill blaring sound. We knew, if we heard that noise, a funnel cloud had been spotted in our immediate vicinity. My parents would chaotically load us up, and head to my grandparents’ cellar about a mile up the dirt road. 

To this day, I can still hear the sound of that weather alert in my mind. We live in Las Vegas, obviously, and the threat of a tornado is slim to none, but I guarantee you, if I heard that shrill squeal of a weather alert radio tomorrow, my knee-jerk reaction would be fear and panic.

The moral is that we’re all “conditioned” and conditioning is a “learned behavior” and, thus, something we can change. Sure, it isn’t often an immediate change, especially if that behavior has been central to our lives for an extended period of time…but it can change. Now listen, I’m not saying to never worry about your husband, I’m simply suggesting we reroute some of that “worry” into a cause that can make a difference…but how? Let’s simplify. 

Be a friend. It’s the easiest thing to do. When my kids come home from school and tell me that there’s a new student in class, I always tell them to make sure they befriend them. As you know, being a cop’s spouse can come with a lot of situations that normal “every day” people don’t experience and, honestly, situations that we haven’t even experienced before. It is times like these that you need, and conversely, can be a good friend. Let’s be real, there is just no substitute for a really good friend – those who know and love you at your best and know and love you at your worst…and don’t judge you. 

Participate. Be a part of the group that’s there to support you. And do your part and help support those who need it. I know, I know, there’s a “stigma” that comes with the term “support group” so let’s just call it “group therapy.” Let’s be serious, though, the principles of “group therapy” make sense. Who understands you best…? People who are walking the same path as you understand you best and can provide invaluable counsel and insight when you need it the most. Trust me, I know. 

Make yourself available. Be that person people can count on. Like you need another thing on your “to do” list…I get it. Be honest, though, have you ever met anyone who has served another and said “well, that totally sucked!”? No, you haven’t because, let’s face it, serving others feels good, it just does. It’s a matter of fact that you will find your life will be enriched immensely when you help others and, on the flip side, let others help you. I know that for some of us accepting help is hard, but don’t deprive others of the blessings of loving and serving you. 

Be a good example. Just do your best.  It’s really all you can do, it’s all any of us can do. Think about it this way: There are times when you are influencing someone when you don’t even know it. You never know, you might be answering someone’s prayers with that random call or text message. I have often found that the answers to my prayers come through the love, support and care of others without any prompting on my part. Own and honor your position as a force of good in the world. I promise, it will make a difference. 

Be one of many.  Be a part of a greater good. Think of this concept: How many pillars held up the colosseum? Way more than one. The stronger the foundation, the sturdier the building and the larger the load it can support. Let’s be frank, it’s a hard job being the spouse of a cop. It just is, but there is comfort gained knowing that, whether silent or vocal, there are others on that same journey with you ready to hold your hand when you’re scared or help you up when you fall. 

~Rachel


photo credit: Promise via photopin (license)
photo credit: Moods via photopin (license)

Welcome to the LVMPOWives Blog

Hello and Welcome!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to our new LVMPO Wives website! We are so excited to finally be up and running and hope you enjoy all it has to offer!

I'm not someone who particularly enjoys writing, so, I figured I'd kick off the blog with a little introduction and history on how LVMPO Wives came about. Then, let some of you who enjoy writing can rotate and share in the fun. Feel free to leave comments, suggestions or ideas that you may have for the blog in the comment section below. :)

How it all started...

This journey began for me when my hubby started with Metro April of 2006. He was scheduled to begin the next academy, when the tragedy took place that called Sgt. Prendes home. I remember sitting at our apartment pregnant with our first child, watching the services on TV, realizing that this was what he had signed up for, as the flag-draped coffin in the back of the Metro truck was driven down the Las Vegas Strip one last time and my husband stood out there paying his last respects. I was so moved by the God-honoring celebration of his life and the impact that his life had on so many lives (not only in life but in his death), the brotherhood he had, as well as, the outpouring of sympathy and support from the community here.  As I was still an outsider, it seemed like a tight knit community.

Statistically, it was a relatively safe job that has its dangers, but it was proud, respected and a nobel profession. Coming from a family that has served our country with honor over several generations (both my grandfathers, my Dad, 5 brothers, a brother-in-law and several cousins served/serve in the US Army), it seemed like a fine fit for me. After my hubby graduated the academy and started to see all the evils of the world up close and personal, he would often reiterate that I should not tell people what his profession was, unless we knew them. I was relatively a "newbie" to Las Vegas when he began with Metro and really didn't know many people outside of work and church. Having those outlets, gave me some friends with whom I could share life. However, when I was around other police wives, I saw the struggles that they had balancing the life of a police wife in a city that was not native to them, where they had no family support structure and all the while trying to fly under the radar as to the work their husbands were doing.

A few months after my husband graduated, I looked for a wives group here and couldn't find one. But, when I saw that there were police wife groups in other states, I was certain that with all the new hires coming on the department, surely, someone would start one. Little did I know that I would be that person. In May 2009, another Metro wife (our husbands were academy mates) came over to help me put together a scrapbook for one of our husbands academy mates family who was moving away. I shared with her my thoughts about starting a wives group and she thought it was a great idea. A few days later, after 2 years of waiting and hoping that a wives group would be formed, the LVMPO Wives Facebook group was born. It was my hope that it would give Metro Wives a safe place to connect with each other, build friendships, encourage one another and support each other in this ever-changing life, which we live.

We are all familiar with the world of plans being canceled at the last minute--driving separate to date night, explaining to our children why their dad can't be at their baseball game, dance, recital or that he had to leave early before the big finale. Not to mention, all the interruptions of Court, OT, meetings, training, etc. that come with the territory. We know how it feels when our heart is racing because we haven't heard back from them after their last call and the relief and joy we feel when we DO hear their voice again. When an officer dies in the line of duty, it is a grim reminder of the reality of the dangers that they face daily on their job. We pray every day with our little ones that daddy and his coworkers return home safe and sound to us and the other families the next morning. When we hear the garage door open followed by the sound of the alarm being disarmed, we can breathe easy and thank God for keeping them safe for one more shift.

Over the last decade, our department has experienced more than enough tragedy with the loses of Sgt. Prendes, Officers Manor, Beitel, Nettleton, Leach, Vanbuskirk, Soldo and Beck. The level playing fields one envisions as a police wife changed with the tragic deaths of Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo last year when they lost their lives while eating lunch, simply because they wore the uniform. Many of us cried for a week straight or until we had no tears left. Many were paralyzed with fear and cried watching their husbands walk out the door for work. It hit very close to home for all of us, and rocked our families worlds--as the nightmare we feared was now the reality of two of our own sweet ladies and their kids.

It was during that tragedy that the LVMPO Wives came together as a powerful force for good. We showered the officers working those difficult days with lunch, drinks, snacks, notes and whatever support we could, as they mourned the loss of their brothers and went to work unsure what the day had in store for them. We supported the families in many ways during the days and months to follow, as they maneuvered through the darkest days of their lives.

Now, with over 650 wives in the LVMPO Wives hidden Facebook group, it's become apparent that we need a place we can better and more easily organize things--especially when it comes to stepping up and helping Metro families that could use a little assistance. What started as a social and supportive Facebook group in 2009, has grown to meet the needs of many in our Metro family. We have provided a variety of cards for various occasions, flowers, Meal-trains, babysitting, money, and much more to those who have found themselves in a time of need. We feel blessed to be able to have accomplished all we have to better our blue family whether it was in difficult, joyful or sorrowful times of life.

There is no reason any LEO wife or family should have to feel as though they are struggling through life's most difficult situations alone. The Metro family is BIG-- the Blue Family is HUGE! We all have different gifts, talents and abilities that can benefit those around us.  Small acts of kindness can go a LO-O-O-NG way for those struggling. Nobody can do everything, but EVERYONE can do something and together we can make a difference! :o)

Your Sister in Blue,

~Deb

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