The stress of the job: life for a law enforcement family

Five officers were laid to rest on Tuesday after they were shot down at what was supposed to be a peaceful protest in Dallas.

Events like these give a renewed sense of fear for those who wear the uniform and for their loved ones. For officers, it's long hours doing an often dangerous job.  For loved ones, it's saying goodbye and hoping it is see you later.

"People ask me, 'are you scared to be married to a police officer?', I always say 'no I'm not afraid,' but yeah I am. I am afraid to not have my husband come home," said Misty Firebaugh, the wife of a Billings Police Officer.

David and Misty Firebaugh have been married for over fiver years.  David has been a police officer for 13 years.

"He gets called out and certain situations that he goes into are scarier...and I don't think people realize that Billings isn't a small town," said Misty.

"From Montana's perspective, we have about a million people so we have 10% or more of the entire population right here in Yellowstone County. Therefore, we are the urban area, we are the population center, we are the big city. So just like any other big city we have the big city crimes," said David.

It is those big city grimes, and the resentment some have towards police officers, that make a hard job even harder.

"A lot of people are being exposed to just what it looks like to take and have a police encounter where there is violence involved," said David. "And lets face it, it doesn't matter how justified the action is, when you are using violence against another person it is an awful thing. It looks terrible".

David and Misty have a son and neither of them want him exposed to that same violence.

"Our little boy doesn't need to take and see that. Most people don't need to see that. Most people are kind, gentle, generous and decent people and they don't need to or want to see violence and when they do it begins to change your perspective," said David.

Families across the country are taking different precautions and making sacrifices to stay safe.

"My favorite thing in the morning, when he comes home, is to hear [his police dogs] feet because I know he is home okay, and he is going to stay home and he doesn't have to go to work for the rest of the day," said Misty.

David said in his 13 years as an officer, things have never been worse but they have also never been better.

"What I mean by that is yes, the specific targeting of police officers in my lifetime is the greatest I've ever seen. Contrast that with I have never been approached more by people who take and express their appreciation for what I do and what all police do," said David.

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