The Law Enforcement Family
Friday, January 14, 2011
I haven't been on here much lately. There's been a lot going on in my life and, for the time being, I'm having a hard time keep track of tracking. I'm trying to be conscientious of what I'm eating (I ate like $h!t today, but otherwise have been fine), but there are some times when there are a million things more important than tracking every bite of food and minute of exercise.
An accidental fire completely destroyed the home of one of our deputies and his family of 5 two weeks before Christmas. They are currently living with family, but lost everything they had. They barely saved themselves and their pets. Deputy Harris is our patrol K-9 handler and his wife works in our Law Enforcement Records Department.
A week ago, our neighboring city on the Columbia River, a little town of 1500 called Rainier, Oregon, lost its police chief while he was responding to a call at a local business. In trying to prevent a car theft, he had his own duty weapon taken from him and was shot in the head. Because Rainier is such a small town, the deputies from my office (Cowlitz County Sheriff) responded to the call, as did a couple other agencies in Cowlitz County. The suspect was shot, but survived. The police chief that he shot did not, and was declared dead on the scene.
Last night, I was taking Academy classes in the process of becoming a Reserve Deputy for my office. I received a call from one of the deputies, but I couldn't answer the call in time. About a minute later, he texted me; I called him right back. He told me there had been an emergency involving the babysitter's dad and he needed me to come home right away because he needed to pick up the babysitter at my house. She's the daughter of another deputy I work with. I drove 85 all the way home (my 35 minute drive took 20 minutes).
I had barely walked in the door to the house when I received a text from my Captain's wife that Deputy Anderson had passed away, and that everyone was at the hospital. I jumped back in the car and headed toward the hospital, only to greet one of my favorite deputies at the door of the emergency room. He grabbed me, held on for a long hug, and we both simply said, "what the hell?".
Deputy Dave Anderson was only 37 years old. He died of a heart attack while playing a basketball game with another deputy off-duty.
My office is still reeling from responding to a call that cost the Rainier Chief of Police his life. His funeral procession was today. And, today, we came to the office and had a meeting to discuss the next steps, as we have lost a member of our own office--our law enforcement family, whose bonds, at times, seem stronger than any other I've experienced. I love this group dearly--I am safe, I am loved, and I know that we're all there for each other.
When is enough enough?