Hiding in Plain Sight

by Captain Robert Cubby (retired)
Jersey City (NJ) Police Department

Robert Cubby
Robert Cubby

Once again, we hear about another officer killed in the line of duty. We mourn the loss of Police Officer Randolph Holder of the New York City Police Department whose end of watch was October 20, 2015. May he rest in peace.

I have attended too many police funerals in my career. Two of the funerals that I attended, I was personally involved with the case and was there when the officer died. Continue reading “Hiding in Plain Sight”

Dealing with a Line of Duty Death – A Police Officer’s Perspective

by Maryanne Pope

The following interview took place on Oct 26th, 2014 between Maryanne Pope (Constable John Petropoulos’ widow and author of the Crossing the Line blog series) and Rick Gardner, who was John’s Sergeant and close friend at the time of his death. [Calgary Police Service Recruit Class #117: Constable John Petropoulos (centre) of above photo]

Maryanne: What impacts – emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical – did John’s death have on you personally?

Rick: Emotionally, John’s death hit me really hard. When John went into that building, I was there. I was the supervisor and John ended up getting injured on my watch. John wasn’t just a colleague, he was a good friend. I had golfed with him 7 or 8 times that year. I had renovated his bathroom. We had a professional and personal relationship – and I had got to know John better than many.

Psychologically, I was responsible for John before his death. After his death, I was responsible for his family, you and his team mates. Sometimes I get flashbacks of things that I didn’t remember then but do remember now. I just get glimpses now and then of things that happened that night – not all at once…they just come in small bits. Continue reading “Dealing with a Line of Duty Death – A Police Officer’s Perspective”

In the Line of Duty

by Maryanne Pope

The above photo was taken in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday September 29th, 2013, at the annual Alberta Peace and Police Officer’s Memorial Service. Since the service that year fell on the actual 13th anniversary of John’s death, he was the officer highlighted. From left to right are: Cliff O’Brien (Calgary Police Service), me, Joel Matthews (Calgary Police Service) and Glenn Laird (Calgary Police Service).

It was a powerful service. As such, I look like I’d just been through the wringer – because I had.

This is the seventh in a series of ten articles.
Visit Maryanne’s page on this blog for additional articles

Moments before this photo was taken, I had spoken to the media about why public memorials such as this are so important – both for the family & friends of the fallen officer, as well as for the thousands of living officers who put their lives on the line on a daily basis…and their loved ones who hope to God they never get the call I did. Continue reading “In the Line of Duty”

Fallen Officer’s Items Returned to Widow After Decade in Police Property Room

by Maryanne Pope

When I was back in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta in May 2011, I met up with Darren, the police officer who was with my husband, John, the night he died in September 2000. Darren was the K-9 officer who went into the warehouse with John, also a police officer, to investigate a break and enter complaint.

When Darren first arrived at the warehouse, he’d found John and his partner, Lil, their Sergeant, Rick, and several other team mates waiting for him in the parking lot.

Darren got out of his vehicle, pointed straight at John and said, “You — let’s go!”

Darren chose John because he’d personally trained John in recruit class how to safely and effectively search buildings. Darren had to choose someone and John was it. So in they went.

This is the fifth in a series of ten articles.
Visit Maryanne’s page on this blog for additional articles
Continue reading “Fallen Officer’s Items Returned to Widow After Decade in Police Property Room”

Not Today, Brother, Not on My Watch

by Jason Zangara

Jason Zangara
Jason Zangara

Sunday 9-9-2012

I was sitting in my marked West Palm Beach police car, X-291, in the 3300 block of Village Boulevard. I was working on the new Telestaff system, getting familiar with this state of the art software. I had all my windows down on the car, a very calming and strong breeze came through. As the wind struck me, I closed my eyes and took in the comforting breeze. At that point, I was calm and felt at peace.

I heard, directly behind me, a sound like a freight train slamming the brakes and the sound of iron hitting iron. With sounds of screaming horror. I exited the cruiser and started toward the chaos. Officer Rebholz was screaming into the radio, “10-18. 18. 18. Officer down, medics 10-18”!!!!!!!! I passed him in my cruiser as he was yelling at traffic. I drove past him and noticed a white pickup truck had a motorbike pinned to the guardrail. I exited my car, went to the trunk and deployed two trauma kit bags and an ambo bag. I got all bags operational and ready to go.

There were two officers on scene talking to Officer Bruce St. Lureant. Bruce was lying with his back facing northbound, his lower torso west, and his head was facing south on I-95, under the wreckage and alone! I told the other officer where the trauma bags were and that they were ready to go. Continue reading “Not Today, Brother, Not on My Watch”