My Dad would occasionally come home on his Police motorbike or in one of the marked cars and he'd sit me in the car or on the bike and put the lights and sirens on.
I'd ask on a daily basis if he'd arrested any of the 'baddies' and whilst he wouldn't go in to the finer details of the jobs that he dealt with I remember listening intently when he talked about those he'd arrested.
At school when we were asked what our parents did for a living I remember the pride with which I said "My Dad is a Policeman".
He would talk about the camaraderie between him and his fellow officers and he always spoke highly of the service. Morale was high and he loved his job.
He's retired now but is always willing to chat with me if I've dealt with something particularly challenging or difficult at work and is always ready to offer his advice.
My wife is now expecting our first child and I wonder in five or ten years time what I will talk about with my son or daughter. Will I still have the passion or pride that my father displayed? Will my son or daughter be proud of me for doing what I do? Will my son or daughter be proud to state that their father is a Police officer when asked at school? Will I still be in the Police service or will I have been forced in to redundancy by Theresa May and her chums?
I know that I won't have the opportunity to take a job car home for my little one to sit in and listen to the sirens and see the lights. I know that morale is at its lowest point that I can remember since joining the job. Will I still be able to talk with such fondness for the job that I love?
Because of the threat towards the Police service from extremists and terrorists I won't even arrive home in uniform for fear of being a target or for the safety of my family if the local criminals find out where I and my family live?
Times have changed and sadly not for the better. When I told my Dad that I wanted to join the Police he was proud of me and provided me the support and encouragement I needed to follow my dream.
Will I provide that level of support and encouragement if my child decides to follow in my footsteps? It's unlikely with the way that the service is rapidly diminishing and I'd most likely try and steer them in the direction of a different profession. Ultimately it will be their decision and no doubt I'll be supportive of whatever they decide to do but I won't suggest or recommend that they join up.
Evolution is not always a good thing.