Yesterday I spent the day at SWAT training. It was a good day. We hiked up a local peak in our full gear to ‘teambuild’
and worked on a suicide bomber/hostage scenario, played around with the bomb robot.

In the team meeting we discussed the murder of a brother officer, J_____, from LASO. He was a gang officer looking for a parolee at large. He was interviewing a couple in the doorway of their home when the suspect stepped out from behind them and shot him in the head.

He was thirty-five, a fifteen year veteran, two kids. Just got remarried two weeks ago.

One of the guys on our team came up from LASO a few years ago and was a good friend of his.

I lost my first friend, a guy in my academy class, less than a year out on the street. Since then, twelve years, I’ve gone to a funeral, or two, or three, every year.

We all know guys that have been killed. We’ve all come close.

We play these games, like- “Well, he was doing something stupid that I never would have done.” Or, “He should have done x, y, or z.” Or, “Well, that guy was a fucking idiot. You knew it was going to happen.” Or “He was a hard charger. You knew it was going to catch up with him.”

On and on.

But often we just shake our heads and admit, “Well, that could have happened to any one of us.”

We don’t like that too much.

I remember as a kid I used to see my old man on the TV, dragging a bad guy out of a bank, or running towards a house with his gun in his hand, and think he was Superman. Or times he’d call and the first thing he’d say was “I’m alright.”

Then we’d turn on the TV.

What’s it say about us? About me?

I don’t know. The easy answer is we’re all heros, or fools.

The real answer is something more complicated than that.

Anyway, here’s to fallen friends.