POLICE Magazine

JUL 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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POLICEMAG.COM 25 P l D r a m WHY ARE OFFICERS' DREAMS MOSTLY BAD AND OFTEN STRESSFUL? I F YOU HAVE A DOG OR CAT, no doubt you've watched them sleep on the couch next to you and twitch as they appear to dream. We're guessing, as their legs, paws, and eyelids flutter, that they are chas- ing rabbits or mice in a rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep state that we duplicate ourselves every night in our own beds. "I remember my first dream where my gun just didn't fire as it should. All my rounds fell short of the suspect who had pulled his gun and was firing at me. This was probably two years after the Academy. I was 33 years old at the time and had some great life experience before being a rookie. I worked through the thoughts and second-guessing in my dream and never shared the dream with anyone. "I've had variations of that same dream over 25 times during my 20-year career. Each time, the same sort of 'bad gun' or malfunction occurs and almost every time the suspect starts to get the jump on me as I struggle to fix the problem, but before I am shot and killed, I wake up. There was no set pattern for my dream; it was very random for me. But it was always the same sort of malfunction, where my rounds just fell short in mid-f light or the round just came out of the barrel so weak it was obvious they were not making it to the target suspect. I never knew that was a dream that others had." ese are very common themes for police officers' dreams: our guns don't work; the bullets fall out, don't fire, move in slow motion, or miss the target, even at close range; the gun barrel bends (like an impotent penis, which is disturbingly emasculating for men); or the bullets hit the bad guy but have no effect. e bad guy laughs at us, or keeps attacking, or disarms us, or runs away, and when we try to chase him, our feet feel like lead or like they are encased in cement. Steve Albrecht

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