Category Archives: sheriff

Sergeant Brian Dulle – May he rest in peace.

I sit down to put my thoughts to words 22 hours after the horrific death of Sergeant Brian Dulle. Mainly to compose my thoughts. It’s a little therapeutic for me. On January 1 of this year I was completely blind-sighted. I remember the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember the tears that came. The ache that I was powerless to do anything about what just occurred. The notion of “What price is too high for our safety? Especially those who care nothing of what just happened?” And now, only 129 days later, we loose another officer. I loose another officer.

What was true for Deputy Hopper, is also true for Deputy Dulle. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office believes in me and my mission to support officers and firefighters. I did not know him, but he kew something about me. He read my note on the holidays. He knew that Dr. Mike was there. And that someone gave a darn that he was out there. On the holidays, in the rain, in the snow, in the cold, in the hot summer sun, after tornadoes. In court on days off, working odd shifts to cover for sick co-workers. Someone cared that he was giving up time with his family to protect countless other families.

I have lost 4 officers since I began this mission in 2008. 3 this year. I won’t say that I know or understand the pain that the Lexington Police Department, and this year the Clark County Sheriff’s Department , the Stow Police Department, and recently the Warren County Sheriff’s office has come to know. Nor do I speak for them. I can’t even imagine what it is like to have a co-worker, a friend, to die and still have to continue to do the same job everyday. I can’t fathom what it is like to see evil descend and take someone that close, and still have to shine my badge, prepare my guns, and march off again into a battle, wondering if I’m next. A mostly thankless job in a increasingly thankless society. Officer Mark Bruns once said “Don’t feel sorry for us. We chose this life.” Well I do. I feel sorry. I feel sorry that people THEY protect can be so brittle, shallow, and self-absorbed. I feel sorry for every time they take crap from their community they “protect and serve” after attending funerals, or taking children to cancer treatments, or doing the things they have to do every day. I feel sorry that as critical as they are to society, that society treats them with contempt.

But that’s an amazing thing about cops. I hear from some of them every time I send a note. I see and hear it in the cars when I ride. And the determination at rallys, and even at funerals. Their training pounds one thing into their heads “I WILL SURVIVE”. I will out-shoot, out-drive, and out-maneuver the evil around me. They are that “thin blue line” that protects us from what we THINK the world is from what the world REALLY is. And they do it with courage, dedication and determination.

So they’ll be OK. They’ll grieve. They’ll honor, and they’ll get up and do it again. They’ll be there for me, so I’ll be there for them. That’s what I do. And I’ll do it until the day that I die. They are my heroes.

My thoughts on the war declared against Police Officers

As I write this, there have been 14 officers slain in the line of duty, 9 from gunfire (plus 1 accidental). Once Officer David Moore is “official”, it becomes 15/10. In the last 24 hours, 11 police officers have been shot at (that we know of, likely numerous others). Deputies, officers, campus police, federal agents. What they all hold in common is “the thin blue line”.

Their job is ” not just protecting and serving. It’s preserving that buffer that exists in the space between what you think the world is, and what the world really is.” (I quoted that here) I’ve heard that death “is just part of their job” when it was remarked about another officer who GAVE their lives (they did not lose it, they intentionally gave it to protect their citizens). No one says that to tellers, convenient store clerks, or soldiers when they die. So why with officers? Is it because we do not care? Is it because we are so angry with the speeding ticket that we don’t feel we deserved that we can callously ignore the death of an officer? I really want to think I live in a better world. But it’s gradually proving me faulty to hope in humanity’s decency.

I’ve needed cops before. When I had a car stolen in 1996 in Moraine, they came out. When I panicked and could not remember my alarm code fast enough in Dayton in 2000, they came out then too. When my grandmother’s house was broken into all those years ago, the KSP came out. And the list goes on. I hope I never need them again. But they are there when life goes bad. And they are there for us all. They are the ones who have to inform you that a loved one was in an accident…and didn’t make it. They are the ones who have to investigate why someone hit a tree at 70 MPH and try to find the missing body parts. They are the ones who have to go to the crime scene and figure out that the drive did not see the pedestrian because they were going too fast because they were 5 minutes late. They are the ones who start CPR until the paramedics arrive (and I have SEEN that happen). They are the ones who have to calmly explain your ticket and explain that 52 in a 35 is speeding no matter how good the excuse, maybe after just getting shot at. They try to cram lunch/dinner and typing up endless reports and redundant paperwork into a 30 minute lunch (which they can NOT take if it is busy). They are the ones who are suffering with PTSD (its estimated that 15-20%) and feel it every time the computer sends them on a call. And they are the ones who have the horror they’ve seen haunt them in their dreams.

I don’t say this to make you feel sorry for them. As Officer Mark Bruns told me once, “Don’t feel sorry for us. We chose this life”. I tell you this to make you FEEL.

I’m setting my profile picture to the thin blue line. Not because I am a cop. I do it to honor the dead, as well as the living.

Also, for those of you who are Christians and believe in the power of prayer, here are some prayer points I posted last spring.

Funeral of Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper

I just wanted to write a note about today’s events. I know it’s long, but it’s worth the read.It was an exhausting day, physically but more so emotionally.

I arrived at the Miami Township Police Department and was greeted my Major DiPietro. I went to the mall with Sgt. Nienhaus and we gathered there as a group before leaving. Met up with Mike Siney over there. We had somewhere around 75 cars there from various departments all over. I was already starting to feel honored just being in these people’s presence. A group of cops grieving and doing a mission of honor for a sister, and I was allowed to come along for the ride.

When we met up at the Navistar plant, only then did I realize the enormity of the support among her brothers and sisters in blue, most of who she never met or knew. Cops from all over the state. Later I’d find out, all over the country. We left there at 9:45 and took over an hour to get to the church, just a few miles away. Here is where the community support began to be noticed. Small children waving from car windows parked along the route. Businesses “Closed to Honor Deputy Hopper”. Veterans standing at attention saluting the procession. And hundreds of people waving at us from the side of the road.

Once we arrived at the church, to see the sea of officers in support of Deputy Hopper. Here is where I saw officers from the Chicago Police, Yonkers NY Police, Maryland and the Kentucky State police. The enormity of the moment began to set in on me. The first tears came here. Sheriff Kelly spoke magnificently, and did her son, and husband.

We waited outside to begin out journey to the cemetery. I talked to some of the guys from Huber Heights and Trotwood. Good to see familiar faces at such an event. Sitting in the parking lot in a sea of cars with lights flashing as the casket was brought out and as we followed one by one was a very moving experience. I can’t explain it to you. Watching the video won’t even give you the full affect. It took more than 2 hours to get to the cemetery. The route was lined with all sorts of folks out in the cold and snow holding up signs of support for the officers. The most moving part is the graveside ceremony. I was surrounded by a sea of blue.And felt the shot from the guns on the salute. And cried as the bagpipes played amazing grace.

I never knew (or met as far as I know) Deputy Hopper.But she knew about me. You know that from my previous note. But this was closer to me. She was one of my officers. Her loss caused some pain to me. Not like that experienced by family or the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. I can’t explain it to you. I can’t tell you how it feels. But these guys are my guys. And alot of the officers in the crowd had read emails from me. They wouldn’t recognize me, but they are my officers too. Pastor Pat has talked about Ministry in such a way that you have ownership over a city. That you feel it’s pain and that you hear it cry to you at night. These officers are that to me. I see them, hear them and feel the pain and sometimes frustration they feel. And when you stand and walk among them, it’s an indescribable feeling.

So I was taken back by the awesomeness of what I saw and felt today. It was good to see the support of a community, but why can’t they see that everyday, without the grief and loss? I also pray that I will never have to see it again. Their jobs are painful enough at times. Lets pray that they be spared form the grief again.

My thoughts – Clark County LOD – Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper

Today is a dark day in the Miami Valley, particularly for Clark County. The CCSO had not lost an officer in the Line of Duty (LOD) since 1978. And this one was shot while TAKING A PICTURE OF A FOOTPRINT. I did not know her. Some of you reading this note may have. I’ve heard it say that she was a fine person, and a fine officer. Now, we have another taken from us. Officers across the Miami Valley (and Nationwide) are grieving tonight. Taken, doing what she loved, and taken protecting the citizens of Clark County. I’ve never been a cop. So I can’t tell you how it feels to have someone you know and talk to cut down in their prime my someone who doesn’t have the decency to fight fair, but shoots her in the back.

I’ve seen the Thin Blue Line in action…and closer than alot of people. I’ve heard the complaints, and witnessed what some of you do at traffic stops. And I’ve watched how they sometimes vent to (or sometimes at) each other. What the patrol thinks about “the brass”. I’ve seen why that officer in the rain looks angry as you try to drive around her patrol car. You may hear/seen that too. But I also know some of the WHY. Why do they think that way? Why is that cop so mad when you try to go around her car? The bottom line…they just want to go home safe. They just want to see their spouse, kids or parents after a long shift. They just want to make it through the day without having the hassle of giving you a ticket. And NO, they really do not want to give you a ticket. They would much rather you drive safely.

She died with no one there who loved her. No one in the last few minutes to utter her last words to. And it happens alot more than it should (161 deaths in 2010).

But this one is especially close to me. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office was one of the first local agencies to believe in me and my mission to support officers and firefighters. I did not know her, but she kew something about me. She read my note on the holidays. She knew that Dr. Mike was there. And that someone gave a darn that she was out there. On the holidays, in the rain, in the snow, in the cold, in the hot summer sun, after tornadoes. In court on days off, working odd shifts to cover for sick co-workers. Someone cared that she was giving up time with her family to protect countless other families.

So I stand up for them. That’s what I do. And I’ll do it until the day that I die. And if that’s not acceptable to you, then you can feel free to ignore, avoid or unfriend me. That’s your choice. But I’m going to stand up for them.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Merry Christmas

First, I want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs and administrators who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.

This marks the second Christmas season that I have sent out emails. In 2008, I decided that no Police Officer, Paramedic, or Fire Fighter will ever serve, protect and defend through a holiday and not know that they are appreciated by someone. As I reflect on the experiences that have come from doing this, I must say that my life is fuller because of it. For those of you who I have met personally, rode in a car with, and celebrated birthdays with, it’s been some really good times. And as I continue my mission to make sure you feel appreciated, I look forward to meeting and spending time with more of you.

I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. I know most of you will be working during the holidays. Whether you are dispatching, in a patrol car, or a fire truck, you will spend part of the holidays away from your family. A lot of people do not understand that kind of sacrifice and dedication. You are out there keeping us safe so we can have a happy holiday season with our families. You are out in the cold, the rain, snow, driving to work while most people are sleeping in, or celebrating with family and friends.

I want to say, THANK YOU. Words can not express the gratitude that I have. But not just myself. Don’t forget that there are lots of other people who feel that way. You just may not hear it. I think that is unfortunate that you do not hear it more often than you do, but thank you. Thank you for putting on a uniform everyday. Thank you for being ready to answer a call, even on Christmas. Thank you for checking those hoses, shining those trucks or checking that light bar, and strapping on your duty belt. Those mundane tasks that you do everyday, now on one of the most important holidays of the year. Thank you. As my family sits down to our dinner, or open our gifts, know that you will be thought of at that time, and your sacrifices honored. Please express my appreciation for you to your families.

And, as I’ve noted before, the holidays can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. It can be hard to balance out what you have to deal with and still know that there are great people in society as well. If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, any other Supervisor, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, send an email. Reach out if you need to.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 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.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you.

Thanksgiving 2010 will soon be here. Another year is soon coming to a close. I just want to talk a little about adversity. I can almost hear you ask, “Why would we hear about adversity on Thanksgiving?” For starters, if you’re reading this note, you have survived. People and circumstances threw their best at you and you came out on top. You might have received some bumps and bruises along the way, but your here. And you get to fight another day. That bullet meant for you missed its target. That building should have collapsed but didn’t. All the things that could have gone wrong didn’t. Adversity evokes dormant potential within us that could not be awakened otherwise. And if this statement is true for anyone, it’s true for you. Rushing INTO burning buildings. Maintaining composure to return fire when fired upon. Having to talk to relatives after a horrible accident. I’m amazed not only by what you do on a regular basis, but the strength, composure and dedication with which you do it.

There are battles you fight in your individual lives that might make the job pale in comparison. Sometimes “off-duty” things can be just as hard (or harder) to deal with. Departments and communities coming together after a tornado. One officer in my area is fighting cancer, but has been surrounded with love and support from everyone.

It’s been said that no man is an island. Sometimes we forget the impact that our lives have on others. During the holiday season, it can be easy to be discouraged. But every one of us has touched lives that we may never know about. You HAVE made a difference for people.

As I end this note, I’d like to encourage you: Take time to see the difference you have made. Life, with all its ups and downs, is something to be enjoyed and appreciated. And if you have a rough time, your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, supervisors, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can.

I’ve said it in every email, and every chance I get. I’ve said it to the chiefs and administrators when I contact them. I’ve said it to you on the streets and stores. You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel – 9/11/2010

Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance. It is an honor to get to write to you and want to thank each of you for the jobs that you do everyday.

As I write this message, we are only a few weeks away from stopping our normal routine to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks that day. Around 3000 people lost their lives that day. 343 firefighters gave their lives that tragic day. In fire stations all over the United States we’ll “remember the 343” for being heroes. 69 officers of the NYPD and PAPD gave their lives that day and more since then due to 9/11 related illness. They will be remembered in police stations across the country as heroes. The more time that I spend with fire and law enforcement personnel, I notice the brotherhood that exists. The sense of brotherhood that recognizes that you might be a firefighter in Dayton, a trooper in Lexington, or EMS in Indiana, that there is a bond that exists between you and other people, people you may never meet, but you consider them a brother/sister anyway. It is truly awesome to see.

Elbert Hubbard is quoted “Our admiration is so given to dead martyrs that we have little time for living heroes.” This is a sad fact of our society, one I’d love to change. We have heroes every day who sit in engines and cruisers and ambulances, which get far less admiration than they deserve. I hope each of you receive an outpouring of appreciation. I hope that people see you in stores and restaurants and pick up your bill. I hope you again hear the cheers of the community you protect. I hope that in the midst of your routine, you feel the gratitude and support that you deserve. You have my support and admiration.

I’ve said it in every email, and every chance I get. I’ve said it to the chiefs and administrators when I contact them. I’ve said it to you on the streets and stores. You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.

Dr. Mike Crain I, D.Min.
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