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DEC 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 12

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DEC 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 12 SPECIAL INSERT: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FEATURES * The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t * Remembering Those We’ve Lost - Sgt Richard Houston * Remembering Those We’ve Lost to COVID * Remembering Those We’ve Lost to LOD Deaths * Troy Finner - Police Chief of the Year 2021 * Who Wants To Be A Cop Part 8 - Conclusion DEPARTMENTS * Publisher’s Thoughts * Editor’s Thoughts * Guest Editorial w/Dave Smith * Your Thoughts * News Around the US * War Stories * Aftermath * Open Road-The Final Cop Sedan? * Healing Our Heroes * Daryl’s Deliberations * HPOU-From the President, Douglas Griffith * Light Bulb Award * Running 4 Heroes * Blue Mental Health with Tina Jaeckle * Off Duty with Rusty Barron * Parting Shots * Now Hiring - L.E.O. Positions Open in Texas * Back Page -School of Glock

a deputy killed in the

a deputy killed in the line of duty. In my 30+ years, I had only had to do it once. But this was different. This young man was dead on my watch. Standing 10 feet from me. It was my responsibility to keep him safe and I failed. I failed him, his wife, and his baby girl. The truth is, I shouldn’t have left the scene. I had just shot and killed two suspects. I had a dead deputy on the ground 20 feet from the dead crooks. The DA shoot team would be enroute and so would the sheriff. Maybe the sheriff should go to Jones’ and make the notification? Nope. It was my job and my job alone, I had to do what I had to do. Without realizing it, I had pulled off the highway and pulled up under an old railroad crossing underpass. I was trembling and crying uncontrollably. It was at that moment that I felt like my life had ended. A young man was dead because of me. I was his supervisor; his backup and he was dead. I was old and at the end of my career and he was just getting started. It should be me on that floor. God got this wrong. I should be dead. I should be dead. I found myself under that bridge, with my gun in my hand. I was praying that God would forgive me for everything that happened that night and what I was about to do. It was at that instant I heard a voice say, “Mister are you ok?” I turned around and standing there before me was this young couple holding a baby. “What? Where did you two come from? What are you doing down here?” “We have no other place to be. We lost our home in a fire and we’ve been camping under this bridge for a while now. What are you doing here officer? Are we in trouble? Are you hurt? You’re bleeding!” “No, you’re not in trouble. I just needed a minute to think. I guess I ended up here. And it’s not my blood.” “Officer, maybe you should sit down a minute. Let us get you something hot to drink, it’s freezing out here.” As I sat down with them under that bridge, I saw this young couple that had to be about the same age as Jones and his wife. Here they were on Christmas Eve living in a tent under a bridge comforting ME. Making ME take a minute. I listened to their story and how they ended up there and when the young man finished his story, he looked at me and said, now tell us how you ended up here …. with us. For the next few minutes, I shared what had transpired that evening. That I was on my way to tell a young mother and wife, her husband wasn’t coming home. And I guess I stopped to gather my thoughts and ended up here. I didn’t tell them I was seconds away from ending my own life. I thanked them for their kindness and asked them if I could take them to a shelter and they declined. They said they were happy to be together, be safe under that bridge, and knew God would keep them safe until they could find a new home. I left them there and drove to Jones’ house. As I pulled up the sheriff was just pulling up as well. I walked up to him and he hugged me said, “You know you shouldn’t be here. You have about a dozen detectives and DA shoot team looking for your ass.” “Yes sir, I know. But this is my job too, and he died on my watch. Under my command.” “Bob. I know. Let’s do this together.” The next few days were a blur. The following week we buried Deputy Jones. After the funeral, I drove to that underpass to make sure my young new friends were ok, but the tent was gone and so were they. I guess God found them that new home. As I was turning around under the bridge, I saw something where the tent had been. I got out of my car and picked up a cross that had been formed from branches and twigs. It had a red ribbon tied around it and a small piece of dirty paper tied to the top with the words: On this spot God saved us from ourselves and gave us a new beginning. IS PROUD TO SUPPORT FOR HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL 38 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 39

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