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Behind the Badge: Patrol officer makes daily transformation from Dad to cop

By By Caty Hirst - CHIRST@VICAD.COM
Feb. 23, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.

Victoria Police Officer Joshua Robinson stops to chat with a resident while on patrol in Victoria early one Sunday morning.

The series

•  Today - A Victoria patrol officer balances family, job, See E1

•  March 3 - Victoria County jailers live among criminals

•  March 10 - Victoria K-9 units battle narcotic use in Victoria

•  March 17 - Victoria firefighters become family

Joshua Robinson prepares for his day long before the sun - or his kids - decide to rise.

Up by 4 a.m., he starts the transformation from dad to cop with a run, because staying in shape could save his life or someone else's.

When getting dressed for work after his run, he wears an undershirt beneath the required bulletproof vest. It helps soak up some of the sweat, making the heavy vest - which feels like a "straight jacket with a metal plate in it" - a little more comfortable.

Over the vest goes his wrinkle-free uniform, a representation of the profession everyone needs and many fear.

He completes the transition after he tracks down all the pieces that fill his 20-pound duty belt - the flashlight his daughter played with the night before, the handcuffs his sons love to be cuffed with and the magazine pouch and gun carefully hidden away from little, curious fingers.

By 6 a.m., Robinson is seated in the Victoria Police Department patrol car that will be his office for the next 12 hours - complete with a computer, radio, shotgun secured overhead and the "Oh S--t" button to radio dispatch in case things get ugly.

He spends his day at the beck and call of the community - responding to everything from noise complaints to shootings.

"You can go from a dead body scene that is really gruesome and nasty to a community contact call. . So you have to maintain that professionalism, yet you may still be disturbed from the last scene you were at. So you kind of have to be an actor," Robinson said.

And the acting doesn't end when he goes home, because most people, like his family, shouldn't have to deal with the dark side of Victoria.

Robinson is one of hundreds of public servants who quietly provide for Victoria every day. The four-part series "Behind the Badge" takes a look at the lives of these men and women.

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Police officers face danger, excitement in service job

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