Wives of officers speak out after recent violence, ask that we focus on "the person behind the badge"

MILWAUKEE -- The wives and significant others of law enforcement officers are speaking up in response to recent violence targeting police.

They joined officials with the Milwaukee Police Association Tuesday, July 19th for a press conference after a Milwaukee police officer was shot and seriously wounded Sunday near 17th and Morgan. It happened on the same day three officers lost their lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- and 10 days after five officers lost their lives in Dallas, Texas.

"There's no book that falls out of the sky that says 'this is how you become the spouse of a law enforcement officer,'" Tina Colon said.

Teresa Robinson

The wives of area police officers say it has been a trying time for their families. They worry their husbands may have targets on their backs due to the recent violence.

"The stresses and the strain of the constant worry has taken a toll,"  Teresa Robinson, wife of a police officer and executive director/president of Shielded Hearts said.

They said it's hard to see their husbands leave for work every day because they worry about their safety and whether they'll make it home.

They are asking that people support local law enforcement -- not by choosing sides, but by realizing there is a human being wearing that badge. They ask that if people see an officer, they say 'thank you.'

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan

"It could be as simple as putting a note on their windshield -- a handshake, a hug, just to say thank you," Robinson said.

Tina Colon

"People don`t see the man or the real person that`s behind the badge. They`re fathers. They`re sons. They`re mothers. They`re wives. They`re brothers and sisters and they have a risk on the job and we understand that -- but with the current events, this is not what our officers signed up for. What they originally signed up for was to help people, to make a difference in our community," Robinson said.

Tina Colon's husband was shot in the line of duty in April 2009. She said it was a horrifying experience for herself and their kids.

Milwaukee Police Department -- Two-person squad units

"I will never forget their faces. I will never forget that phone call, and I most definitely will never forget how that felt," Colon said.

These women said they would feel more comfortable if departments had mandatory two-man squads -- something the Milwaukee Police Association has been asking for, and something the Milwaukee Police Department is currently doing, temporarily.

"They would feel a lot safer if there was always somebody there who saw the whole story and can help them through any situation they might have," Robinson said.