Associate Magazine-Jan/Mar 2021


F B I N A A . O R G | J A N / M A R 2 0 2 1


In the chill of night, At the scene of the crime Like a streak of light He arrives just in time

This past Christmas Day we all awoke to what could have amounted to a tragedy of epic proportions in Nashville, Tennes- see, if not for those local superheroes that “in the chill of the night, arrived just in time.” In the early morning hours of one of the holiest days of the year, Nashville Officers James Wells and Amanda Topping sped to Second Avenue in the city’s downtown district on call for backup related to a possible bomb. Upon ar- rival they immediately confronted an ominous situation when they parked alongside an RV that was barking out evacuation orders complete with a bomb detonation count down through a public address system. Earlier, three other officers, Brenna Hosey, Michael Sipos, and James Luellen had arrived on the scene on what was originally reported as “shots fired.” In and of itself, responding to a “gun call” where your life and those with you will immediately be in danger, is not anything the average citizen would ever experience. Yet now, all five of these officers found themselves in a middle of something only comic books could bring to life. In fifteen minutes, there would be the pos- sibility of an explosion. In essence, the officers were placed into what would be considered a Hobson’s choice scenario for no other reason than because of what they believed in and stood for. Now a citizen, upon hearing those evacuation orders, could run to safety. It’s not that the cops could not exercise that same choice, it’s just that running away from danger is just not an option. For these cops, like the thousands like them across the world, the mission they believed in – fighting for good against evil - compelled them to rush door-to-door to alert residents in the vicinity to evacuate. While Wells and Topping “armored-up” in preparation to engage and counter a secondary attack of unknown but just as deadly in nature, the others feverishly evacuated residents within minutes of detonation. By the grace of God no one outside the bomber was killed during the blast, but we will never know exactly how many people were saved because of the quick action of these cops. What we do know is that we are thankful that there are men and women who everyday suit up in the blue (or tan) to confront the unknowns that advancing public safety delivers daily. Those unknowns run the gamut. As the Capitol Police experienced in January when they were put to the test defending America’s temple of Democracy. Or when several officers with the Alliance Police Department of Ohio found out when they jumped into the icy waters of the Mahoning River in November to save a woman who was trapped in her submerged van. Or in Wil- son County, North Carolina, when Trooper Daniel Harrell, after being shot twice in the face, refused to give up and pursued his

– Theme from Spider Man , J. Robert Harris and Paul Francis Webster

A sk my kids now about it and they will surely smile. When they were younger, I was steadfast in convincing them I was a superhero. Well, not me specifically as a caped crusader, but cops in general. I knew they would hear things in school about the police, both good and bad, so I needed a reference point for them until they were old enough to make a judgement for them- selves. How else could I get them to understand that the policing profession is noble, honorable, and just. How the police were there to help those in need. That the police were the ones that would run toward danger and not away. And that the police were those souls that stood on that thin blue line that society counts on when evil makes a run at the good. IN AWE AND APPRECIATION OF A JOB WORTH DOING When I was “on the job” every Spring I made the trek to Washington, D.C. for National Law Enforcement Week when we honored and mourned the loss of those peace officers that paid the ultimate sacrifice. Growing up in the Pipes & Drums of the Blue & Gold it was our unwavering mission to honor the sacrifice of those that were killed in the line of duty. Yet, throughout the year I never stopped to appreciate the work those that serve do every day, or critically think of how what they experienced could impact their own wellness. I guess then I took being a cop for granted. I was too busy and focused to think any differently. After all, was it not our mission to be out there in harm’s way to defend the defenseless, assist the weary, and aid the helpless. Who else is there to do it? Yet, today, now watching from the cheap seats my appreciation for what police officers do day-to-day has grown exponentially. Whether it is the stories of heroism, the stories of service, or just the stories of good deeds we see the police doing every day for their communities.

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