If you see the news, I’m ok

By Erin La Row
         Being married to a law enforcement officer is not for the faint of heart. I’ve had my share of phone calls that start off with, “If you see the news, I’m OK.” When my husband, Steve, experiences something traumatic at work, I feel it, too. Especially when it’s an accident involving children. After all, I’m his partner – aka counselor.
         I joke that Steve has crammed an entire career’s worth of experiences into the relatively short 12 years he’s been a law enforcement officer. Surprisingly, it’s not the arrests of gang members, drug raids or bad guys with guns keeping me up at night. It’s the routine traffic stop or tire change along the highway that worries me the most.
         I’m sure highway workers and their families can relate. You have drivers distracted for various reasons. They’re tired or perhaps intoxicated, texting, reading (crazy, I know, but I’ve witnessed it), or fidgeting with the radio. Add high rates of speed, throw in some inclement weather and my husband or a highway worker standing just a few feet away and it’s a tragedy that could have been avoided. The highway can be terribly unforgiving.
         I don’t dwell on the dangers Steve may face each and every day. There isn’t enough anxiety medication in the world. I take comfort knowing Steve has a keen sense of officer safety, as do his colleagues. As my mom used to tell me when I was a teen, it’s the other drivers I worry about. When Steve is working the highway, there are two little boys at home missing him. Waiting for him. Depending on him. And that has made me more mindful of how I drive. I hope we can all safely get through our day and to our destination. There are precious people waiting for us.
         Please slow down in work zones or when you come upon a law enforcement vehicle along the side of the road. After all, they’re simply people (moms and dads, children and grandparents – maybe your friend or neighbor) working to make this world safer for you. And don’t text and drive. Nothing you need to say in a text is more important than a life, whether it’s the love of my life or yours.

Erin La Row is the spouse of Stephen La Row, Technical Trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol


  1. There are so many people who depend on law enforcement officers and highway workers to return home every day. Thanks for sharing another perspective of work zone safety, Erin.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Erin. And thank you for supporting your husband's efforts to keep our roads safe. May we all be reminded of the need to drive safely and the impact we can have on a family.

  3. Anonymous4/12/2016

    Thanks for sharing your husband with the people of Kansas, so he and they can get home safely each night.