Not Every Job Is The Same

       There are many different kinds of heroes in this world but only one that I have a kindred spirit with. Imagine getting into a car by yourself and you get a call for an argument at a garage. When you get to the garage you find two mechanics brawling  and they are both twice your size and have hands made of concrete that could wrap nearly completely around your head. What are you going to do? That was my first call as a police officer after being released on my own. I was 21 years old and had been through about six months of training between the academy and Field Training. You can have all the training in the world but it can mean nothing when you find yourself alone between two big bulls hellbent on tearing each other apart and they are brothers to boot so if you get lucky enough to separate them and feel the need to arrest one of them they may stop fighting each other to fight you because now you are arresting their family member. That is a true story and it is also the life of a police officer. I was lucky and had a safe career but it could have changed at any moment.

     I have been a schematic analyst longer than I had been a police officer. A great many things have changed in my life since those days. I still talk about things I experienced from that time of my life. I expect I always will. I cannot find a corner of the oceanfront that does not hold a memory. I run into situations all the time where the training John Wareing gave me gets me through. I am confronted with arguments where I have to remind myself where I am and when to give and when to take. It gets me through. I take little to heart that does not come from family. Being a police officer is a calling and not a job you take on a whim. It is a job where you feel you make a difference from time to time. Sometimes your impact on others is never known to you and sometimes it comes back to you years later. There are relationships I made back then that will never be fully eroded. I have a great job and great friends there but it does not compare. The level of trust you put in a fellow officer cannot be measured. The friendships I had then are not better but different.

     In Virginia Beach a handful of officers gave their life for their city and it’s citizens. At the bottom of my blog is a list of those officers. The first day of my academy we heard the audio tapes of  the last radio transmissions of Officer Maloney. I will never forget that. I was one of the last people to speak to Officer Starr. We had a conversation outside in the halls of the Second recinct moments before he left to go home. He never made it home and the person responsible for his death received a laughable sentence. I never met Officer Pocceschi or Phillips but when I pass their makeshift memorials my heart skips a beat. These people gave their life without a thought because that is inscribed in their heart when they are born. They are not better than others they are just different.

The reason I tell you this is because this Saturday on 35th street and oceanfront, in Virginia Beach, the city unveils a memorial for its fallen heroes. The ceremony is open to the public and details can be found at this website:

http://www.vbpolicefoundation.org/index.php

I strongly urge you to visit the site, thank a police officer, and when possible give to foundations that support police and the families of  fallen officers.

Special Constable Malachi J. Beasley

Princess Anne County
EOW: Saturday, September 24, 1898
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Police Officer Allen Gimbert

Princess Anne County Police Department
EOW: Thursday, May 3, 1923
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Police Officer St. Elmo C. Trower

Princess Anne County Police Department
EOW: Thursday, July 12, 1923
Cause of Death: Motorcycle accident

Police Officer Charles E. Porteus

Princess Anne County Police Department
EOW: Monday, June 16, 1952
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

Detective Robert R. Monette

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Thursday, December 19, 1968
Cause of Death: Drowned

Police Officer Roger L. McClung

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Thursday, December 19, 1968
Cause of Death: Drowned

Sergeant Frederick Dale Greene

United States Army Military Police Corps
EOW: Saturday, December 6, 1975
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Detective Jimmy Wayne Mobley

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Wednesday, July 11, 1979
Cause of Death: Aircraft accident

Police Officer William Douglas Black

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Wednesday, July 11, 1979
Cause of Death: Aircraft accident

Police Officer Daniel T. Maloney

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Sunday, December 27, 1981
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Auxiliary Officer George Wayne Starr

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Saturday, August 31, 1991
Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle

Police Officer Rodney Fredderick Pocceschi

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Monday, June 23, 2003
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff William Henry Tiedeman Jr.

Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office
EOW: Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Cause of Death: Heart attack

Detective Michael Smith Phillips

Virginia Beach Police Department
EOW: Thursday, August 7, 2008
Cause of Death: Gunfire

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Posted on June 22, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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