IUPA

Attending the Indiana University Police Academy was a remarkable experience and I am forever grateful to have been offered this opportunity. Leading up, everyone told me that this would be one of the best summers of my life and I can confirm that statement is accurate. I created a special camaraderie with the forty other recruits from all the IU campuses, and they now and forever will be a second family to me. Over the past fourteen weeks I have watched new friendships flourish and developed unbreakable bonds with so many new people. I remember first stepping foot in the classroom on the first day of academy back in May, thinking to myself that August 10, 2019 could not come soon enough. Now, that it has come and gone, I keep wishing that it would not have come to an end.

The second week of academy was National Police Week and it hit differently this year. Looking around at all the faces of future officers whose names could be added to the memorial one day was rough. It was an honor to participate in the Police Week Memorial Ceremony held by the Indiana University Police Department. Saluting the flag with the other recruits and taking a moment to reflect on what we are about to do had a huge impact on my life.

I have never received as much support from so many people at one time than I did these past three months. Through all the ups and downs I always knew that no matter where I turned there was someone that would be there for me, whether it be a fellow recruit, instructor, or an administrator. There have been many people that have had a positive impact on my life in such a short amount of time. Major Luce and Lieutenant Rhodes made this experience one of the best and ensured that they genuinely cared about each of us day in and day out. They continuously pushed us to give our maximum effort during PT, in the classroom, as well as in everything that we do. They made it a point to meet one on one with all of us to get our input on how we were handling academy made the whole experience much more personable overall. It was very obvious that no matter what happened, academy related or not, they would be there every step of the way doing anything they could to help us.

Taking the time to think about what all has happened this summer I have noticed that it’s the little things about academy that I am going to miss. All the what are the odds games played by the guys. Friday night pool parties, drinks at Brother’s, Beaver’s permanent smile and awkwardness during every scenario. We were constantly on edge waiting for Major or Lt. to pop up out of nowhere. There were issues with the computers all summer but the tech group got everything up and running again. A small group of recruits spent the last week of academy in a frat house where we hosted movie nights thanks to Adamson. All the early mornings and late nights together. All the regional recruits are heading back to their divisions soon. It will be weird to not see each other every morning anymore and hear all the inside jokes that we will cherish forever.

IUPA has helped me learn a great deal about myself as a person and how I will be as an officer. It was nice to be trained in a place where the main focus was our interaction with the community. Without a doubt I know that all forty-one of us will walk out of here today confident with our training we received and use it to be the officers that our communities need. We have worked through many stressful times together: EVO, Firearms, S.T.O.P.S., Defensive Tactics, OC spray, PT, and many others. No matter what the situation was, we were able to work through it as a team and come out victorious.

It was apparent that there were no cliques and we all got along fairly well which was an amazing feeling. You don’t realize the bond that has formed until it’s over. Today was our last time being together as one and it is a moment that will stick with me for ever. I can honestly say that I would not have been able to make it this far without the motivation that we shared as a team, family, and the 46th class. I have no doubt that each one of us will support one another by any means necessary throughout our careers in law enforcement. Not only did we become law enforcement officers today, but we each gained a brand new family that will always have our six. We are the 46th.

By Any Means Necessary.

“I love you each and every one of you. Don’t do anything stupid. Represent yourself, the program and the department in a positive light. & remember you haven’t graduated yet.” Major Luce

“Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

My prayer to you,

Lord I ask for courage. Courage to face and conquer my own fears. I ask for strength. Strength of body to protect others and strength of spirit to lead others. I ask for dedication. Dedication to my job, to do it well. Dedication to my community, to make it safe. Give me Lord, concern for others who trust me and compassion for those who need me. And please Lord, through it all be by my side. Amen.

Officer J.Murphy

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To those who need to hear this:

It is mind-blowing how fast things can change. How different things are now than they were a year, six months, or even only a month ago. The world looks so different, the colors are no longer as bright as they use to be, and sounds are not as cheerful.

You feel lost.

Conversations are few and far between lately. There is no excitement any more, the thought of engaging in a new conversation feels more like an obligation than a blessing. You are comfortable with how life has been lately. A little confused and need some reassurance but for some reason only receive the opposite. You care so much but have no idea how to show it, so you don’t. You intend on things getting better and that it will all go back to normal; however, you don’t believe that things will ever be normal again.

You feel even more lost than before.

You come up with excuses for every little thing to make yourself feel better. In reality, you know you’re lying to everyone including yourself. It’s the memories that keep you lingering. You’re used to the distance now even though you feel like a stranger. It becomes harder each day, you’re not as happy as you were before. People begin to point out the days that you are genuinely happy and that gets to you. The truth…it hurts but you know it’s what you need to hear.

You have decisions to make and be sure to take your time to ensure that you make the correct one. It will not be easy, and it will be tough for you. Just remember that pain is temporary, and it is the price you pay for healing. You deserve to be happy and should not have to beg for it from anyone. You should wake up each day and be happy about where you are in life. Don’t feel compelled to stay where you are, sometimes you need to listen to your feelings and make the necessary changes.

Ask for help or guidance. You are not alone in this world and people all around you are willing to help. Do not be afraid to ask for help on things you cannot handle on your own. You are strong but you are even stronger with the help of others. Do not let yourself stay broken, it will not be worth it in the end.

Broken

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”

Proverbs 15:13 (NASB)

My Prayer to you,

I pray that you find the answer to your problems. That you find the strength to overcome the dark times in your life. The courage to step away from what is holding you back from succeeding. I pray that you find your happiness and you hold onto it. Don’t let it slip away again. Take the time to speak with the Lord and ask for guidance and direction. Lord, be the light in their life. I pray this in your heavenly name, Amen.

j.murph

Keep Your Chin Up

To the little girl sitting all alone crying:

You deserve better friends. Being a middle school girl is tough, trust me i’ve been there so I know. Watching your so called friends siting on the other side of the room whispering and laughing at you is never fun. Girls are mean. Do not let them get to you, you do not need “friends” that make fun of you.

I told the little girl she was welcome to come sit with me and she instantly stopped crying. She kept looking at me and smiling then thanked me for being nice to her. I let her know that being around people that are mean to you are not considered “friends”. I know it won’t making everything better for her but having at least one person go out of their way to be nice to you will at least make things better for a little while.

Keep your chin up babygirl, you will find better friends one day. I promise.

j.murph

Why I Do Not Label Myself a Feminist.

First of all, I am fully aware that feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes. I do support equality but I am not going to support feminism and the extreme that is it taken to in today’s society. I am also aware that there are many professional and respectful women who are feminists. However, listening to radicals claiming themselves to be feminists shove every bit of information they have down my throat telling me that I am in the wrong  and will never make a difference because I have a different view than them are forming a bad reputation for feminists. Don’t become a feminist because someone tells you that you have to, do it because YOU want to do it and have reasons behind why you are doing it. If you want to label yourself a feminist then so be it, I am choosing not to and that is okay too. Labels do not define who you are.

I am a woman and I also have all my rights & as a nation we have human rights which are entitled for both men and women. I am a woman and I can vote. I am a women and I can work and earn my own money. I am a women and I can get an education. So instead of going on marches fighting for rights that I already have, I choose to make use of my rights while I am a full time student and work all week on top of that. I have my own standards and goals that I set myself to work towards not what other women have told me that I need to do. I don’t need a label to feel good about myself and the choices I make.

Many feminists have told me that my views are wrong, I am against women, and that I support inequality. When I have never once said any of that, I have chosen to not have a label because I do not need one. To support women in the things that they do you should not have to consider yourselves a feminist. Those who bash other women for having an opinion other than theirs doesn’t look good for feminists either. Why say negative things to a hardworking women who is independent as well as belittle them because they aren’t labeled a feminist? Support them and encourage them to keep working hard and pursuing their dreams.

Being a feminist isn’t a bad thing if you’re doing it for the right reasons. It is the radicals that are hurting the reputation and belittling others because of their opposing views. When someone says the word feminist they use to think of intelligent, strong, & independent women but in today’s society many think of women who walk around minimizing the views of other women by telling them that they will never make a difference in the world because they aren’t a feminist. It isn’t feminism that empowers women to work hard it is YOU. It isn’t feminism that makes a difference it is YOU. Fight for equality not just for women but for men as well. Men deserve to be supported just as much as women do, they work hard, get educations, and have aspirations to make a difference in the world as well. Work together with men to make a different in the world instead of working against and there is a chance to make an even bigger change in the world.

Whatever your choice is, that’s okay. I support each and every one of you, just know why you do what you do. It is not wrong to have your own opinion.

Equality

“For is the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality- at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for their need, that there may be equality”

2 Corinthians 8:12-14 (NASB)

j.murph

three little words.

Who knew that three little words could have such an impact on someone or even stress someone out so much. Everyone wonders when it is the perfect time to say I love you to a person. No one truly knows when the right time is because there is not a “right time.” When you are ready you say it but you do not have to rush it there are a plethora of other ways to show your love for a person without having to constantly reiterate the words I love you. How do you know when it is love? Love can be when you are more concerned about the happiness and well-being of another person before yourself or telling them to be safe when going somewhere. Letting someone know that you appreciate them, paying attention, and being patient with them also lets them know that they are loves by you. Showing your significant other that you keep your relationship a priority by spending one on one time together to help you to grow as a couple expresses how you feel for them without even saying a word sometimes.

Maybe you know you love someone after a week or maybe you don’t know for a couple months; however, do not let it consume your thoughts and stress you out. Take a step back and look at the big picture and think about the numerous ways that your significant other has used their actions to show you how much you mean to them and how much they truly love you. It is like they always say, actions speak louder than words. One way to know when you love someone and if you have found the one read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 and swap out the words love and it with the name of your significant other to see if the verse is still truthful.

Love.

“4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not 
brag and is not arrogant,  5 does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own, is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness,but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, 
hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NASB)
j.murph

easier to let it happen.

A man once told me, “it’s easier to let it happen than to say no” and my immediate thought was females who have been raped and I felt sick to my stomach at that very thought. Under no circumstances is letting it happen ever the right decision. You have a right to give or not give your consent to a person and no one should ever make you think that you do not.

Think about those words being chosen while imagining a woman being raped, it is absolutely horrifying. He wants it yet she does not but she was told that letting it happen was easier. Her 63 inches of height compared to his 74 inches is quite the difference, making it hard for her to put up a fight since the words “no, stop” were not having any effect on the situation. Picture it, every emotion, every thought, every tear,  every sight, and each tense of every muscle.

She planned on hanging out with this guy she met in class, no intentions of anything happening other than maybe a simple kiss goodnight; however, he had other plans. He began to caress her thigh and she asks, “what are you doing?” He ignores it, smiles and moves his hand to her back as he started kissing her with his eyes fixated so intensely on her that it made her feel very uncomfortable, she knew what was about to happen. The girl  tries to stand up and tells him to stop yet he does not listen, he pushes her back onto the bed grabbing her arms and pinning her to the bed. She says that she needs to go and he says “no you don’t, you’re fine” as he starts pulling at her pants forcing his fingers inside her. She hardly manages to get up off the bed and he thinks it is a game, he follows her as she stumbles while pulling her pants back up. He is still fixated on her and begins to look her up and down, she again says  “listen I really need to get back home,” and again he ignores it. He shoves the girl up against the door, ripping off her sweater as he starts whispering in her ear that everything is going to be alright, the fear and embarrassment in her mind is heart wrenching. He grabs her throat and kisses her hard, he is not even fazed as she sheds a single tear. She nervously tries one more time, “it’s getting late what if I come back another night when I don’t have to work tomorrow, doesn’t that sound nice?” It barely works, he is angry and yells at her but she grabs her sweater and heads quickly toward the door, she hears him coming to the door as well and she hurries to her car and drives off as fast as she can with tears flowing from her eyes. Her body is trembling and she feels violated, the only thought she had was all the places he was touching her while she said no.

Not every woman is as lucky as she was, not everyone gets away. It is now a struggle for this girl to make eye contact, touch or even be alone with any man around his age now as it is a trigger for a terrible memory which she would rather not relive. Over time it gets easier but no one really knows about her experience. In fact, out of every 1000 rapes only about 310 are reported to the police. Did she tell the police, no she did not because by the time she was able to look in the mirror and realize what had happened to her, she figured that it was too late. It is NEVER too late. It is your body and you get to choose what is done with it. This girl could have taken the advice “easier to let it happen than to say no” and things could have ended up much worse but because she knew she did not want it, she was not going to let it happen and she didn’t. Good for her.

Visit www.projectconsent.com for more details and ways to open the eyes of people about consent and that without a yes, there is no consent.

Rape

 “But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.”

Deuteronomy 22:25-28

My prayer to you,

Heavenly father I ask you to give strength to those who are in need and replenish those who have faced dark times. It is times like these that we feel so low and worthless but Lord you can show us our worth again. Let us know how much you care and how important we truly are, you have the ability to heal and with that we can rejoice. I ask that you take away their pain let them not be scared anymore, let them trust again. Give them the strength to overcome their troubles and give them the courage to say no, let them know that their consent IS needed. Be their guide Lord,

I pray this in your heavenly name, amen.

j.murph

Strength.

Times get tough and that is just when you feel as if all you have left to do is just give up but then you would be a quitter and no one really wants to be known as a quitter. Do not give up when there is a difficulty those in your direction, simply stand up and fight it.You are strong and have the strength to conquer many things in life. Do not let any difficulty get the better of you, belittle you, discourage you, or make you feel as if you can not win because you can. God is not going to put you through anything in your life if he did not know that you were strong enough to get through it, his intentions are not for you to have to face these challenges alone for he is walking along side you every step of the way as well as friends, family, coworkers, peers, etc. There are so many people willing to help you succeed and overcome all the challenges that you are going to face on your journey though life. Do not think about what you feel is best for you in this very moment in time but rather what is going to benefit you in the long run, imagine how you will feel when you overcome whatever challenge you are facing and become successful. You will have invested hours and hours of hard work and dedication to push yourself to be successful not because it is what others want you to do but because you knew that you could do it and you reached your goal. Always keep in mind that it is just a phase in life and there are many of other opportunities and doors that will open after you make it past this tough time. You can do it and do not let anyone tell you that you are not able to, if you made it this far why would you give up now? YOU WOULDN’T AND YOU WON’T. You are going to push through and reach whatever goal it is that you have set for yourself and you are going to feel ecstatic in the end when you can stand up and proudly say, “I did it”.

Strength.

“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB

My prayer to you,

I know that all people face tough times in their lives and I pray that you give them the strength and perseverance to not lose hope and never give up on their dreams. Life is too precious to work so hard and to give up, Lord I pray that you life each person up when they are feeling down, show them that people are there to help them and give them the courage to push through, let them know that all the hard work they are putting in will all pay off in the end and that they will make a difference in the world. Give them positivity to keep their heads held high. Give them determination to keep working to finish what ever it may  be that they have began and give them hope Lord, show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that they will make it. I will never doubt your abilities for you are a God of wonders and with you anything  is possible. 

I pray this in your heavenly name Lord, Amen. 

j.murph