A Quad Cities police officer is exploring life with a badge in song to provide an account of the weight it carries.
East Moline Police Sergeant Anthony Frankowski is a 12 year veteran of the department and since high school has been writing and performing music.
A month ago, Sgt. Frankowski’s captain came to his with the idea to use that talent to explain his life on the force through song.
That is how “Thin Blue Line” was developed, dedicating the music to officers across the country.
The song is meant to put a face and humanity to police officers.
Sgt. Anthony Frankowski said, “Words of what we as officers live, onto paper and into music. It kind of captivated me a little bit. It felt good to do that.”
“It’s 10 o’clock, and I’m late, rushing out that door,” begins Thin Blue Line.
The end of another third shift for Sgt. Anthony Frankowski and headed home.
Frankowski said, “My one-year-old is super content. Really just chill and relaxed, and then my five-year-old is a kind of all over the place.”
The father of two explains family above all is a motivator for officers.
Frankowski said, “What am I thinking about when I’m on the streets. When I’m not thinking about how I’m going to handle a call, what am I thinking about? I’m thinking about my family back home.”
The demands of the job often mean hours away from home.
“A lot of us have families, a lot of us are family men, a lot of us our coaches, we’re part of our kids’ lives, and we don’t want to take them for granted because we don’t get that much time based on shift work and all the hours that we get,” said Frankowski.
There’s also the difficult times that are felt throughout the brotherhood and sisterhood of law enforcement.
Frankowski sang, “Lost another brother today.”
Frankowski said, “It’s always devastating to hear that an officer was shot, an officer was hit by a car.”
That adds to the challenges of hitting the streets.
“It’s a very unfortunate event to take place, and some of them are senseless and could easily be avoided, and when you think about that, it heightens our awareness a little bit, when we go back out onto the street the next day or the next hour,” said Frankowski.
In the music video, Frankowski uses dash cam footage from the department showing challenges to do their job.
Frankowski said, “Involved in the aftermath of all of those.”
Add in the sometimes trying calls, and the job takes its toll.
“In their worst times, it feels good that you can get them out of that time, but then there’s those times you can’t help them as much as you want to, but when you can, that’s making that difference for why we all get into this job,” said Frankowski.
It’s part of walking the thin blue line.
Frankowski said, “That Thin Blue Line is that order and chaos, and as police officers, we’re constantly on that line.”
For the EastSide Sounds producer who helped put the final cut of the song together, it’s a change to the perspective of law enforcement.
Music Producer Tayvian Johnson said, “I sure haven’t had that conversation with a cop before.”
Tayvian Johnson said the first-hand account that feeds into a larger conversation into understand and feel what cops experience.
Johnson said, “Point of view that he’s getting across, I think is a very important part of the narrative along with the point of view that is being expressed in the public now.”
Johnson has taken part in efforts to help the police department and community have better relations through events like Hoops4Hopes.
“We came together with the police department to try to get ahead of some of the issues that people are seeing on the news or have heard of in the news,” said Johnson. “And the reason I say get ahead is while you do see a lot of these things happening nationally. I don’t know of anything that’s really happened in my community that I can point to.”
Hitting the right notes because as Frankowski sings it in the chorus “Back to the grind” that this is a job that never stops.
Frankowski said, “We’re human beings, and we have feelings as well, and we carry emotions, and we suppress a lot of them, but that’s because we have a job to do and we need to make sure that they’re safe and we have to put the community before ourselves.”
Other members of the department also took part in creating the song, including another officer who performed the drums for the track.