Monday, February 23, 2009

SheepDog Brothers

With each embrace I intoned, “Uu-ah Sheepdog!” Turning toward the car to give my goodbyes to the wives, I heard from behind me, “Uu-ah, Uu-ah!” I strode into the air terminal, and my friends drove off into the glistening backdrop of snow covered mountains. I headed back to Southern California, and within a couple of days they would part as well.

In the 1970’s, three young police officers worked on a street crime suppression team at a significant Southern California police department. We were enthusiastic and over-invested in some of the greatest police experiences of our law enforcement careers. Amigos, who worked, drank, partied, hunted and fished together. We eventually separated to different police agencies. Two are now retired, and we were together again for a retirement party.

Both of my cohorts performed well in their law enforcement careers. Each served as an Interim Chief of Police for their respective agency.

This weekend I read a letter, signed by every police officer on the Jackson Police Department, requesting that the Interim Chief of Police be appointed as the Chief of Police. The letter extolled the Interim Chief’s virtues and a word leapt off the page at me. The word was not “manager.” It was “leader.”

I’ve heard similar reports about my other former colleague’s career as a Deputy Chief of Police and as an Interim Chief of Police.

In my piece, “Thanks from a Warrior, Antidote to the Jackals,” I lamented the existence of “Jackals,” law enforcement officers who abandoned their sacred oath. I also lamented about the inherent destruction of officer emotional stability and the damage to law enforcement families.

My former partners avoided both pitfalls and emerged from successful law enforcement careers with solid mental health and intact families. Both men exemplify all that is good in a professional police officer. They paid their dues by working the hard details on the street and rose in rank while diligently utilizing their considerable experience to the benefit of their respective agency and its officers. No Jackals are these men. They are the finest of SheepDogs.

I am proud to call each of these men my friend. I salute and congratulate Sergeant Scott Terry (Ret.) Jackson Police Department, WY, and Deputy Chief of Police Wayne Hiltz (Ret.) Pasadena Police Department, CA, for law enforcement careers well done and families well raised.

“Uu-ah Sheepdogs! Hunt the Wolf and the Jackal!”


Link in this Blog:
Thanks from a Warrior, Antidote to the Jackals

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