Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
A copper was buried today. Quietly. Only family, friends, and those police officers who knew him.
A sergeant who knew him from the early days, wondered why the order for a full honors burial never came out. He hastily arranged for two escort vehicles and a handful of officers to show up at the funeral home for an impromptu honor guard to show the family the respect that was due to their loved one.
The man was a hero. An apparently unsung one but a hero none the less.
A few years ago, the officer was working in a high crime district helping to train a young recruit. While patrolling late one night they came upon a car parked near an industrial area. The man in the car was alone. He had a newspaper in his lap. The officers sensed no danger.
Both officers came up on the same side, realizing the error, the veteran copper waved back the younger officer and approached the driver.
The man stepped from the car but kept the newspaper over his hand. Now aware of the danger, the copper lunged for the man as a nine shot .22 revolver came into view. He grabbed for the gun hand as the offender fired. Four bullets entered under the officers body armor into the officers torso. The officer fell away injured and bleeding.
The man then turned and fired three more shots at the young recruit a few feet away. Struck in the vest, belly, and belt buckle the young copper was able to draw his weapon and fire several times, killing the assailant.
Severely injured, the veteran copper was rushed to the trauma center. He survived the attack.
Coppers know how much damage a .22 slug can do at close range. Even after months of rehab it was determined that the officer would no longer be able to carry out his police duties. He was retired on disability.
Still a young man, he struggled to live his life to the fullest.
He died quietly, a hero.
He was buried quietly, without the honors due him for his sacrifice.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This week the big city has the honor of hosting the Medal of Honor Convention.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Every summer, one of the big events of the season is the Air and Water show. Thousands of people fill every empty space to be found any where near the lakefront where the show is held. They come out early in the morning and picnic all day. They look like they're really enjoying themselves too.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
We both are in a hurry. The cars we are driving have to be swept for explosives before we report to the compound.
I'm assigned to the unit that has been escorting the presidential candidate and his secret service detail for weeks. The home town favorite has won the election. He is now the real deal! The President of the United States (elect) lives in the big city. His code name is "Renegade."
The escort duty has taken on a level of real importance. The squad of agents guarding him and his family has grown. However, they are still escorted by the big city copper and his crew.
The motorcade is assembled and waiting. Today, I have the honor of leading the parade. A knot forms in my stomach as the word comes over the radio. "Renegade's coming out" I ease into the street followed by a heavily armed armada of vehicles. "Light em up," says the agent riding shotgun in my car. I turn on the lights, all of them, wig wags, brights, flashers, and strobes. I glance in the mirror. every vehicle is lit up like a Christmas tree. It is an impressive sight.
The officers assigned along the route are alerted. I see streets, intersections, and highway ramps being blocked as we approach. The agent calls out every move the motorcade must make.
I call out potential problems as I spot them. The tail cars respond and move ahead to cover any trouble identified. The motorcade moves as one. No one gets inside the bubble of protection we have provided.
I am barely aware of the people waving and cheering from the sidewalks as we approach our destination. I drive past the entrance so "POTUS" can exit right at the door, but close enough for the agents to deploy from my car to cover their assignments. When signaled, I pull away from curb to re stage the car for the return leg of the movement.
It was an intense ride.
We spent the next few weeks providing escorts for the President, the First Lady, and the kids. (we took them to school) In January, the first family moved to Washington D.C.
Escorting the President of the United States was an honor. I hope to do it again.
Being a big city copper is a beautiful thing.