Distribution: Please distribute to all law enforcement personnel
First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message.
It’s been a rough year so far for law enforcement officers. On a national level, we’ve seen 3 multiple fatalities in the first four months. Law enforcement deaths are up 24%. Now we are coming into a season or remembering our brothers in blue. May 11-15 this year is Police Week, designated by President Kennedy in “recognition of the service given by the men and women who, night and day, stand guard in our midst to protect us through enforcement of our laws”.
Some of us are taking time to remember those in our department that were killed in the Line of Duty. Being a resident of Huber Heights, Leo Castro, Jr. comes to my mind. Officer Castro was killed while pursuing a criminal while off-duty. Having laid down his life for his city, he will be forever remembered as a hero. And that story will be told hundreds of times in different ways for different officers in the coming weeks. In counties, cities and townships all over the United States, we will take time to honor our heroes. And in doing so, we ensure that they are never forgotten.
On a personal level, I am so thankful for each one of you. I am so appreciative that you are out there putting it on the line for me and my family. Even though I may never personally meet the majority of you, don’t think for a moment that you’re unappreciated. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you guys so much. I think a fitting line from literature that describes this would be, “All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times.”
I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.
I met briefly Detective Faulkner’s family and read of their battle of this disease. They were so…amazing. It’s all I can think to describe it. Amazing. I visited Detective Faulkner in the hospital a few hours before he died. I was kinda worried I’d be intruding. But a co-worker told me that he’d be glad to know someone cared if that was him in that bed. So I went. I went in and visited and explained why I was there. I got to say a few words to him. Tell him that I appreciated what he did as an officer, and through the battle that he was fighting. I could think of nothing else for the rest of the day.
I don’t think I’d ever been to a funeral of someone who wasn’t a relative of me or my wife before today. Honestly, it was a little intimidating. I knew I would be surrounded by some of the greatest people in my city. His family. The men and women of the Trotwood Police Department, and others across the Valley. Here I was walking through a sea of blue, and from all over. I greeted a few of the Trotwood officers. I knew that they had lost a brother too. Not a “blood” brother, but a bond that sometimes can be closer. Today, I caught a glimpse of how deep that bond is. Seeing men, tough men, moved to tears at the thought of seeing him one last time.
I waited until the last minute to go to the front to the casket. I didn’t feel worthy of that moment. Not me. But I went up there and did what came natural. I saluted. I was seeing a truly great man for the last time. Then I turned and stood in the back. It was a moving tribute to a truly great man.
Then, I had to go back to work. At that moment, it was one of the hardest things I’d done. And I thought about it all day. Would that many people come to see me? Would I have someone talking about me like that? Then my thoughts gravitated to those who were left. Specifically those I am sent to. The guys over at Trotwood were cleaning out as desk. I wish I could have been there for them. I’m sure that had support, but I wanted to be there. Be there for those who are there for me. For those people who a majority of the time are cursed because they hand out speeding tickets. I wanted to let them know that there are people who truly support them. Who care about them. Who are concerned with their struggles.
I don’t know where this road will lead. All I know is something was started in me that day I talked to Dispatcher Richendollar on 9/11/08. When I heard from the officers in Kettering and Colerain TWP that they’d been an officer for over 30 years and had never received a nice email saying “Than You” for no reason other than they were police, something happened. When I got a gold-embossed thank you card from a Police Chief I likely will never meet , something happened. Every time I got a Thank you from an officer for just sending an email, or saying “Hi” in a Speedway, something happens. And today, seeing what greatness is about, something happened in my heart.
Note: Jamie was part of the band Knight Blaze, which recently performed it’s last concert.