A Story: The Open Door

“I do not know what to say to start with.  I do not have anything profound to say.  It still hurts.  Dave’s locker is still right across from mine, a St. Michael sticker permanently affixed to it, never to be opened again.  I have Dave’s name on my bracelet, the mourning band with your badge is still attached to my gear.  I am sorry.  As one of the senior guys that was on his shift, I am sorry Dave came to our little town for a better life only to be taken from us.  It has been hard sitting down and telling this story because only few days after this happened Dave would be gone. 

 Now that I have brought everyone down, I hope I can liven it up and they have a laugh at this, because I still do.  Just know some “colorful” language will be edited…

We had been having a rash of daytime apartment burglaries and I was patrolling one of the complexes on my end of town.  While patrolling I located a patio sliding glass door opened up about a foot.  Not sure what I had yet, I asked for an additional unit, and Dave was dispatched (it should be noted that he was already enroute to back me up when he heard me check out). 

Upon Dave’s arrival we went to have a closer look at the door.  This patio was probably about 12 feet long by about 4 foot wide with probably a 4 foot railing across it.  The ground surrounding it was standing water from recent heavy rains. 

 While we did not see any signs of burglary, we did see one of the biggest pit bulls in existence lounging on the chair looking at us with a “what are you idiots looking at” look on its face. 

Dave: “Bro, we gotta search it.”
Me:  “Uh no, you see the size of that dog.”
Dave:  “Policy bro, policy says we search.”
Me:  “You go first then tough guy, I’ll follow you.”
Dave:  “Bro, you’re all former SWAT and Army, and an FTO, I need to learn from you. You go first!”
Me:  “As the senior officer on scene I am making the call we not entering this apartment.”
Dave:  “Bro, policy says we search. I don’t want to get fired!”

It was clear that the apartment had not been burglarized.  We could see laptops and TVs inside, and nothing appeared thrown around.  Dave was also clearly using “bro” intentionally in all his sentences.  All professionalism went out the window as we jokingly bantered back and forth about Policy and the size of the pit bull like kids on a playground, all the while this huge dog is eye balling us, before I finally said “I’ll call Sarge.” 

 So we walk back to the squads and I call Sarge who AGREED with me (Dave shot me the bird as I wrote “told you so punk” on my notepad) to not enter the apartment, but we needed to try and shut the door. 

So, we then went back to the apartment to shut the patio door, only to find that thepit bull was now GONE. 

Me:  “Where the hell that dog go?!”
Dave: <cackling> “Bro, he’s hiding, waiting to eat your face when you go shut that door.”
Me:  “You shut it… you’re a foot taller than me and can get over that railing better…and I’m a better shot than you.”
Dave:  <still cackling>  “it’s your call bro. You found it.”

So we came up with the plan: as I hopped over, he would watch and cover me against the still hidden pit bull.  The apartment patio is several feet below the level of the parking lot, and I got in position to hop the fence. I turn around and look back at Dave who now has his phone out.

Me:  “What the <blank> you doing?!”
Dave:  “Bro, when that dog jumps out at you, you’re either gonna end up in the mud or lose an arm, both of which will be awesome on youtube… but I promise I’ll only let him get one arm.”
Me:  “You mother…”
Dave:  <laughing almost uncontrollably>

Well, I made it over the railing without getting eaten, and got the door shut without seeing the dog again.  I am sure if anyone was watching they were like “what the hell is wrong with those cops.”

I know I could never do justice to the mannerisms and voice of Dave. I just hope those that knew him can insert him and know just how funny this was. 

Was I actually ever concerned about that dog?  Absolutely not! As much as we were joking around, I never once doubted Dave would be there if that dog had showed up. 

Miss you BRO, see you on the other side…”

~ P.B., Euless PD

A Tribute: The NYPD Memorial 5K

Yesterday, my parents and I and over 2500 others participated in the NYPD Memorial Run to honor the legacy of of the 882 NYPD officers who have fallen in the line of duty. 882 souls who have given their lives to protect those of the citizens of NYC.

It was a very moving experience. Beginning with an invocation by an NYPD chaplain, that was both poignant and humorous (delivered with a great New York accent!), the singing of the national anthem by a female officer, and the mournful playing of the bagpipes during a moment of silence for our fallen heroes.

Most striking to me was seeing all the personalized race bibs, many with names of the recently fallen, and many more graced with names of officers whose legacy endures even though they have left us long time past. “My brother” is what my bib said. Others wore bibs that marked their own relationship to an officer: my son, my husband, my partner, my father, my cousin, my friend, my hero, … The list goes on. Let us honor those who have left us, but let us also remember those who are left behind, for enduring their unthinkable loss. The officers, the families, the friends and supporters all deserve our deepest gratitude.

I also want to mention that we understand that Dave is not an “official” fallen NYPD officer as he had retired and joined another department. Yet, there were close to 100 people there to honor him. Thank you to each one of you. There are so many people who are making a tremendous effort to make sure his sacrifice is honored in NYC as well. I want to take this opportunity to thank Bryan R. who has been at the forefront of these efforts. Thank you, Bryan, for all you’ve done and all you continue to do for Dave. And, thank you, to everyone who is helping with this in the background. We may not know each of you, but know that we’re grateful.

In Memory: 05/19/16

“Dear police department
Hello. I realy like your work that you do I think a police is a very importent Job. I know you try your very best. I want to be a police. I have some questions for you. How do you be a police. Next I want to know what do you trane.”

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In Memory: 05/17/16

“Dear, polices officers
thank you for keeping us safe. you tell people what to do things right. you allway keep everyone happy. you always keep everyone good. everyone likes you like you like us. you always teach us safe ruls every day
Thank you so much
eva,
polices”

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A Story: On Avoiding Overtime

This is part 1 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days.

Dave lead a rather humorously paradoxical lifestyle.

“Fear” and Dave did not get along, as he was always at the frontline of any critical circumstance up here in New York and in Texas.  Just don’t ask him to actually spend time processing an arrest: it might lead to unwarranted overtime, and just like the term “fear,” Dave and overtime did not get along.

One New Years Eve, we had to work in Times Square for the ball-drop.  It’s a long day/night, and Dave did not want to risk being stuck to work a continued shift within our command.  Therefore, on a blistering cold (fifteen degrees, if lucky), Dave had the bright idea to drive my car up to our muster-location, packed with our clothes for going out after.  At dismissal (well after two o’clock in the morning, mind you), Dave and I sat in my car (which does not have any tints on the windows) and undressed (almost completely) to change into regular clothing.  Forget about a warm precinct.  “Everyone else is a sucker for going back to the base!” 

~Bryan R., NYPD

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In Memory: 05/16/16

Dear Police Comunity,
We are all glad to have Police like you. if we did’nt you it would be a unhappy world thanks for all your help you guys are funnomonal

Thank you for your work [Note: also see drawing!]

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A Story: “Seriously, bro, what do you do?”

Here is another gem submitted by an officer of the Euless PD. I think what speaks to me about this story is that we can see the ease with which Dave was able to build a rapport with everyone around him. No doubt he had tremendous substance and showed the utmost care to those around him. But, he was able to make an impression in even the most superficial of interactions with his clever and absolutely hilarious sense of humor. Thank you Steve for sharing this side of him with us once again.

I’d like to start by saying that I am truly amazed and admire all your guys’ strength, especially my awesome NY brothers here that had to endure and continue the grind.….lots of love & respect to each of you!

Anyhow, I think the reason Dave and I got along so well is because we share similar values in our approach to law enforcement.  Mine came from when I went through my police academy.  There was a Texas Highway Patrol Sergeant who taught us our traffic laws, and on his last day he told us something that stuck with me forever.  He told all of us to be humans first and police officers second, and if we remembered that he guaranteed we would be successful in our careers.  With that mentality it wasn’t hard to notice how Dave treated the people he arrested and how he spoke with them. 

Unfortunately, I’m a better story-teller than I am a writer so you’ll have to excuse my spelling and grammar, but here goes.…… 

The first time I met Dave was when he was in training.  He and his training partner were leaving the jail as I was going in.  His partner told me he was another New York Officer so I said in my best Joey Tribbiani accent “how youu doiiin.”  He just gave me a head nod and I guess he didn’t really know how to take me.  So, I introduced myself and told him unless he was like his brother Donny and wrote “Foogaysie Tickets” (fake tickets) we’d probably never see each other.  At that point I caught his interest because that’s when he gave me his goofy smile and asked me what I did.  I told him I was the warrant officer and worked for the court.  Since they were leaving I kept it short and ended with “Eh freagin fugedaboudit” like Tony Saprano would say.  He just laughed shaking his head. 

Now let’s fast forward to the second time I ran into Dave, by this time he was out of training and on his own.  As I was walking in the jail and saw Dave I said, “yo you take care dat thang?”  That’s when Dave looked at me with that goofy smile again but this time he said: “seriously, bro, what do you do?”  Never in a thousand years would I have ever guessed that stupid little question would’ve established such a quick, sweet, and messed up friendship that would later cause so much heart ache.  You see after I explained to Dave my position being permanently attached to the city court doing prisoner transports, bailiff twice a week, work Class C warrants, research for the judge & clerks, and especially the hours I work (M-F 8am-5pm, off weekends & holidays); I could tell it really peaked his interest because he immediately asked me, “bro, how can I get that job?”  I told him I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon and I wasn’t willing to give up an easy gig. 

From that moment on every time Dave saw me, he would ask me questions like, “bro, when you gonna retire?”  The more I saw Dave the braver he got and made comments like, “bro, you’re getting old. You need to go ahead and retire so you can enjoy it,” or one of my favorites, “bro, you don’t look so good. Maybe it’s time to hang it up.”  Eventually, we got so comfortable with each other that one day when Dave saw me he simply said, “fak you still heay!?!”  I started belly laughing so hard that I couldn’t even tell him I was pretty sure he said it wrong.  Funny thing is it never mattered how much we would bust on each other because we always laughed and ALWAYS ended with, “Later, Bro.”

I realize our friendship wasn’t long or very deep but nonetheless it was special to me, and God only knows what I wouldn’t do to give him my slot……….

You’re Always With Us.

~ Steve R., Euless PD