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.