Wife of Denver police officer opens up about heavy toll of husband’s job

DENVER -- Husbands and wives of officers know firsthand the heavy toll police shootings have on the law enforcement community.

“It feels like a fluke to me. I’m hoping that it’s a fluke because I can’t keep doing this,” Ashley Conover said.

She is married to a Denver police officer who has been on the force for more than 20 years. She says she never doubted marrying a police officer.

“It is both great and terrifying,” she said.

Even more terrifying now, she said, as Colorado prepares for its third law enforcement funeral in about a month.

“The last five weeks have been really hard,” she said. “They’ve been very emotional and every morning he leaves for work is a much bigger deal. ... When you know there are people out there who are specifically trying to hurt your spouse, that’s not easy to deal with.”

She says every day her husband leaves for work, she makes it a point to say “I love you. Stay safe.” And every minute he is gone, she says the worst is always in the back of her mind.

“I can’t tell you how much I check the news to see what’s happening in Denver today,” Conover said. “I can get a missed call on my phone from a number I don’t know and I think, do I need to call this number back? Is there something going on?”

But, that is the reality for families in law enforcement. And a reality that Conover says feels more harsh than ever.

“We had a conversation yesterday on our walk about what does he want if he were to die in the line of duty,” she said. “Would you want a law enforcement funeral? And it’s like, we have to talk about that. ... So that’s hard.”