A Story: Taking the Jump

Dave seemed to have a knack for being memorable even through the briefest of interactions. He truly understood people and could bridge gaps like very few people I know. Here is another example.

First and foremost, I want to express how sorry I am for your loss.  Our thoughts and prayers have been, and will always be with your family, Marta, and those closest to Dave.  Though my fiancee and I didn’t know Dave very long, or very well, I still felt compelled to share a memory of him, because it truly is a testament to his generosity, his character, his love of the job and of Texas.  

My fiancee and I, both born and raised in New York, were told by friends about an opportunity to possibly work and live in Texas.  My fiancee loved the whole idea from the get-go, but being the typical Type A personality that I am, I knew that if I was even going to consider this craziness, I would need to do my research and see all of it first-hand before I made a decision.  Enter Dave.  My fiancee was given his number, and they talked back and forth for several days about the possibilities that Texas presented for us.  As the days went on, I was getting a bit skeptical about this mysterious “Dave” character. 

Eventually after many, many conversations, we decided to fly down to Texas for a few days to check out the area and see it all for ourselves.  Dave and Marta, without ever having met me at all, were more than willing to meet us and show us around. For the few days we were there, they worked around their already busy schedules to show us their favorite spots in the area.  Total Wine was one of the first places Dave told us about (because, priorities).  Babe’s Chicken Dinner House gave us a real Texas feel, and the Shops at Legacy made me see that this wasn’t exactly the rural version of Texas I had envisioned.  They showed us restaurants, shops, apartment complexes, you name it, and when they couldn’t physically be with us, they pointed us in the right direction.  Dave even took my fiancee on a ride along so that he could see first hand what the department was like. I was in awe of their generosity, their kindness, and of Texas. But still, I was hesitant about making a move this big.

On our last day, before we made our way to the airport, Dave took my fiancee and I to TruFire, which was yet another delicious choice.  My fiancee left the table for a moment, and without me having to say a word, Dave called me out on my hesitation.  He asked what was holding me back, and wanted to know what my biggest concern was.  I told him that this was a big risk.  I was afraid I’d miss my family too much, and that taking a jump this big would ultimately end up being a big mistake.  I held my breath a bit, because I knew how Dave felt about Texas, and his decision to move here, and considering he had spent the last few days showing us around,  I was anticipating a little irritation in his response.  I got the opposite.  Dave was considerate and honest.  He told me that he understood my concerns, that they were valid, and that ultimately and obviously it was our decision to make, but that he could guarantee if we took the jump, I wouldn’t regret it.  

Fast forward to now, May of 2016.  I’ve been living in Texas for almost a year and some of my favorite places are still ones that Dave and Marta showed me during our first visit. Our journey here has had its ups and downs, its twists and turns, and it certainly did not turn out like we had originally planned, but what more can be expected of life?  Although my fiancee and I are making our way back to New York next month, I couldn’t be happier with our decision to have moved here.  It is an experience that I am truly grateful for and one I will never forget.

As I reflect back on our time here, I can’t help but think back to our first trip to Texas.  Dave’s love for this place and the possibilities it presented inspired me to push outside of my comfort zone and take a leap of faith, something I don’t often do.  Although we didn’t speak much, and didn’t know each other well, I will always be grateful to have met him.  Ultimately, he was right. I took the jump, and I don’t regret it. 

– Dana F.

A Story: Random Bits

This is part 7 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6.

I’m not sure I have ever met a man as pale as Dave.  I’m not even sure I’ve seen nor heard of his feet touching the sand on a beach.  Yet somehow Texas stole his heart.  “Dude, it’s sick.  The complex I live in has a giant pool and chairs to sit on and get your tan on.”

Dave drove slower than the elderly, yet that didn’t stop him from buying a speedy Volkswagen sports car.  “Bro, this thing flies.  Turbo speed is the best.”

He had a habit of pinching his male-friend’s chests, just to annoy them.  God forbid anyone ever try returning the favor.  “ooWWWW!” That drawn-out, over-exaggerated yell, with a, “Dude stop, you’re being annoying!”

~Bryan R., NYPD

A Story: Workouts, Fast Food & Zero-Calorie Beverages

This is part 6 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5.

“When I visited Dave in TX, most work-out sessions never came to light. “I haven’t gone to the gym in two days, I have to go today.”  Yet, somehow, the car would veer off at the nearest What-A-Burger…and eventually home.  Though if you consider that a forearm workout, by all means!

We used to laugh at how broke we might have been some weeks, yet that never stopped us from heading out on the town and ending it with a whole assortment of McDonald’s drive-thru items, which ran us to our very last penny.

Dave liked to drink vodka-soda’s.  He called it water.  “Zero calories.”

Bryan R., NYPD

 

A Story: BA-BOW! [strikes pose]

This is part 3 of a longer note I received from Bryan R. about the Dave’s “humorously paradoxical lifestyle” as Bryan so nicely put it. I decided to make it into a few posts that will be posted in the coming days. For related posts see: Part 1; Part 2.

“As we all know, Dave was a workout-buff.  Most workouts ended with cardio-activity (staying fit and keeping his stamina up was important), and a protein shake.  We would head into work right after a gym session, and he’d rather quickly head off to eat a hearty meal (and not always the healthiest).  He’d explain,”Dude, I have to add more inches to my arms.  You don’t get this big by doing nothing BA-BOW!” followed by his trademark bicep pose.  Good luck to seeing him run three blocks, however…

His first apartment in Texas was situated roughly 20 footsteps away from a Sam’s Club.  I would understand him having to drive over in order to fill his trunk with packages: they sell in abundance.  Yet, I scratched my head when he forced me into his car and take a drive in order to purchase “American Sniper” on DVD.

~ Bryan R., NYPD

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BA-BOW! Being silly on my 30th and Dave’s 27th Bday

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

In Memory: 5/10/16

“Dear Euless Police Department
Police Department thank you for helping all of the people you try to save. Yall always have all of the stuff yall need to finish the job. And how are you so brave to stand up to dangerise things always. I hope yall all can protect us forever as log as yall are living. good by
Police safe and save police people.”

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A Story: Mickey’s Adoption Adventures

Remember how Mickey took over, later to be referred to as Dave’s “main man?” Read on to find out more about how their first meeting was actually like.

“I had the honor of working with David for several months.  He was so kind and a pleasure to supervise.  When we started working together we had 2 objectives: keep the peace and find a dog Marta would fall in love with.  Within a few days “Mickey” found his way to the Euless shelter.  I stopped by the shelter to pick up some supplies for my fosters and was informed about the new arrival.  When I saw Mickey I knew he would be perfect for David and too cute for Marta to resist. I could not wait to text David and share the good news but Mickey was stinky and had not been taught basic dog manners, so I was going to wait a few days before telling him.  Mickey was introduced to his foster sisters and became the perfect foster brother.  After a bath and 2 days of practicing his manners I sent David a photo Mickey.  He replied, “Will you be home tomorrow?”  I told David I was available and he said he would come in the morning around 10, and he wanted to bring Mike S. because he was looking for a dog too.

Lyn G. and I were training for an upcoming race and needed to complete 5 miles that day.  I told her we would need to start early because David was coming to meet Mickey.  As luck would have it the following morning the rain was pouring down so Lyn and I drove to Grapevine Mills Mall and completed our miles inside.  I knew when we left I would have time to get home and make sure Mickey was ready to meet David.

Oddly enough when I walked out of the mall I realized I locked my keys in my car.  In a panic I told Lynn to start walking – it was 3 miles to my house and if we hurried we could beat David and Mike.  It was raining, cold, and hard to keep a fast pace. About a mile away my phone rings – it was David and he was at my house. I asked him to please come pick us up.  When I got inside the car I told David and Mike I was sorry for smelling like a goat but my deodorant stopped working about 3 miles ago.  David said, “Uhh speaking of a goat…do you have one in your backyard?”  I said, Noooo and he told me when he was at my house he heard something making a noise like a goat.  I knew Mickey had to be up to something so before David put his car in park I was running towards the door – I first noticed a pillow Mickey had destroyed all over the house – I followed the pillow trail to the backyard and immediately heard the goat sound.

I could see all the dogs but Mickey so when I turned the corner to view the pool area there was Mickey in the deep end of the pool hanging on to the side for dear life communicating his distress with goat sounds.  There was no hiding the stuffing from the pillow or the fact Mickey was in the pool so I screamed, “David, HELLLP!”   David reached down and pulled Mickey from the water.  I will never forget the look of David standing there holding that silly dog.

As far as an introduction it was a disaster and I told David I did not know what to say.  He only looked confused and said, “What?! He is perfect.”  David asked if I would keep Mickey until he and Marta moved into their home.  So over the next few weeks I loved on Mickey while David worked his magic on Marta.  David would instruct me to send lots of pictures of Mickey so he could share them with Marta.

On December 15, 2015 David and Marta arrived to take Mickey to his new home.  I forgot David had told Marta this was a “trial” period with Mickey but when she saw her address on Mickey’s dog tag she just smiled.  I watched Mickey drive off with two of the most precious people I have ever met.  Mickey continued to be mischievous, Marta continued to be patient, and David was so proud of the dog he rescued.”

~ Kim P., Euless PD

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In Memory: 04/30/16

“I know some people dont like you because you give out tickets each day, but we all will remember ya’ll risk your lives for us each day. Once I watched this video, I never realized a tear roll down my cheaks like a angel coming from heavon to meet us. Police Officer…oh…Hofer you aren’t just a Police Officer, you risked your lives for innocent little kids and adults. Your in a better place called Hevean, as your up there can you tell my daddy I miss and love him, and tell him to be nice to you if not, you have the handcuffs.

Rest. In. Love
I may not know, but my dad up there can tell you all about me.
I will ask the man upstairs to make sure your family is safe as possible.
You have the handcuffs and we will make sure you will always do Hofer.
I’ve never seen my teacher ever cryed in my life, my teacher’s eyes were like a tiny river filler with tears and random kindness.”

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A Story: Line of Duty Decorating Injuries

“As I sit and read all of these touching stories about how Dave impacted so many lives, I can’t help but smile. I met Dave about a year ago when I started working at American Airlines Credit Union in Euless, where he sometimes worked as an off-duty officer. Although, the off-duty job was removed in January, we still consider the EPOs our family. We learned so many new things about each and every one of them, like what they liked to do for fun and what their favorite food was – just silly stuff. We even have nicknames for a lot of them.

As for Dave, he was the officer that was always smiling with a book in his hand. When I first met Dave he seemed very quiet and shy but as I got to know him he was far from it! Dave was super sweet and always willing to help. He would help us decorate for what we call “spirit contests” and he would tease about the possibility of getting hurt on the job for hanging up cotton clouds haha. We only knew him for a short while but he is truly missed. We have his memorial picture hanging in the hallway at the branch to give us a bit of comfort. It had been a while since he last worked with us, so at least now we can see his picture and remember him cracking a joke behind his book. I speak for all of us at the credit union when I say that we will always remember him for each and every one of his great qualities.”

-Melody E., AAFCU-HTC

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A Tribute: On Valuing Bonds

“When it came time for Dave to go to Texas, I was sad to see him go but incredibly happy for him to start a new journey and new chapter in life. As is everything in life, things and friendships change. Unfortunately, the frequency of our interactions grew further apart and I had invested into a new relationship myself as life seemed to begin moving in a new direction. I still managed to keep a brief contact with Dave and exclaimed to him how awesome his proposal was and how difficult he made it for many men to follow lol.

I now find myself dealing with feeling and emotions I cannot say I’ve ever felt in my life and that I cannot contain. I know the feelings are due to how genuine and true of a person Dave was and how difficult it is to comprehend that he is no longer here. I have had relationships that have come and gone during my time in this life, but Dave was much, much different. He valued the people he had bonds with, no matter how short or how long. He would show genuine interest and simply wanted everyone and anyone to come together and enjoy one another’s company. Dave had a wonderful heart and I hope and believe he is now at rest, looking down at all the wonderful relationships he had and lives he touched.”

~ B.B., NYPD