An Interview with a Police Officer
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have left a mark on Modern History and America itself, that we normally associate this date with a tragedy. But this is also a day of remembrance for all of the heroes that sacrificed their lives to save the victims of the World Trade Center attacks. And just like any other day of the year, September 11 also means it’s someone's birthday! I sat down at an open patio cafe in Beverly Hills with Officer Hurwitz, who currently serves as a police officer in California and who’s birthday is on 09/11.
Where were you when you found out about the attacks?
H: My mom and I lived here in Los Angeles and my dad was living in New York City. He actually worked at the World Trade Center in the finance department. I woke up that morning like any 9 year old kid would be excited about his birthday, went to my mom's room and noticed something happening on the tv, which she then quickly turned off. She explained to me something bad had happened but we weren’t going to talk about it right now because my birthday was supposed to be fun. I was able to take to my dad on the phone because actually my dad decided to go in to work late that day because he wanted to call me before I went to school. He was not in the towers during the attack.
What is it like having a birthday on September 11th?
H: People always give me sh*it for it saying things like “its such a horrible day” but the way I look at today is a symbol of bravery, courage, heroism, and when our country really united for the first time since Pearl Harbor. It truly showed what America is about, it doesn’t matter if you’re left or right it mattered that everyone came together.
As a police officer now, do you constantly look out for other terrorist attacks on the daily?
H: With the uptake of mass shootings and accidents in this country we are constantly training for something else. I’m always watching my back and always being prepared whether I’m on the job or not. My girlfriend can tell you that whenever we go out to a restaurant I always have to face the door to see who's coming in. I'm always prepared to stop a crime which is why I always have a gun on me for protection.
A subtle look of shock took over my face. Hurwitz leaned over and whispered the answer to a question I was too afraid to asked, he said "yes, I have one on me right now."
You were an EMT before you were a police officer; what made you decide to make a career change and sign up for the police academy?
H: I became very comfortable with being an EMT and it got to a point where it became too comfortable that it was simply unhealthy for me. I woke up one day and said this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I had always known I wanted to do something with law enforcement. Now every day as an officer is something different. I can get called for a robbery four different times and every single time I will treat it differently. Whereas an EMT if I treat 12 broken legs they will be treated all the same way. I absolutely love what I do and don’t regret making the move.
Our message at Time to Vivir is to take action now. What is the best advice you can give to someone who wants to change careers or simply wants to help people as a career?
H: Don’t be scared. I knew the police academy would probably be the hardest thing I’d ever do and actually the first time I went I got injured and had to wait to start all over again once I recovered. I hated 99% of the time I was in the academy but I knew I needed to persevere because what I ultimately wanted was going to be worth it. Just suck it up and do what you want.
Personally, I am always a little jumpy on 9/11 because I grew up knowing that something tragic happened on this day, but the truth is something terrible can happen on any day. Walking around in fear over something we cannot control serves us no good. We must take advantage of the time we have right now and make the most of it. It’s all about our outlook and our mindset. As Marc said, “don’t be scared to go for something you want just because you think it’s hard to achieve.” The time to vivir is now!