Saturday, February 28, 2009

Barbara Strickland

Being a police officer's wife definitely takes a certain personality. You have to realize that you may not have your husband around for important occasions such as yours and the kids' birthdays, or on Christmas or New Years Eve. It's easy enough to celebrate on a different day.

I had three boys with my first husband, Al Bertalone. When we first married I had no idea the danger that he would be in every single day. We had a wonderful marriage. I loved cooking for him, taking care of his sons and his home.

Because so many of the wives had no idea what their husbands' jobs were like, I started the ride-along program and encouraged everyone to go with their husbands. I was in the police car when Al was shot to death. Horrifying!

You might think I would have avoided marrying another police officer. I really didn't have time to think about it. Chief McKenzie assigned Ryan Strickland to help me and he took care of so many things. The more I was with Ryan the more I realized I'd completely misjudged him. In the past, Al and I used to call Ryan a publicity hound. If he could figure out how to get his face in front of a camera he did.
(Ironic, because now his job is the p.r. man for the Rocky Bluff P.D.)

Ryan became very important in my life. Of course he didn't replace Al, he's a completely different man. When Ryan proposed, I didn't hesitate. I've never been sorry.

Really, I can't imagine not having a man in my life. I pray for Ryan's safety every day and night.


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