A fellow deputy, veteran of 30 years in law enforcement, ran to the fight. She stood in the line of fire to protect and serve her community. Barb, I give my humble thanks to you for your service. You’re guidance and mentorship will be passed on to many future deputies. Your story will be retold a thousand times over of your heroism and sacrifice. There is no justice for the loss of a loved one. There are no words for the emotions those left behind will have to face. The one thing we all know is that God gave us a guardian angel today we will call by name. Deputy Sheriff Barbara Pill, end of watch March 6, 2012. God Bless.
Today, I had no words to give loved ones as the calls and messages poured in asking if I was okay other than ‘Yeah’. The comments left on my social media pages tugged at my heart as I saw the support from friends all over the world. The most surreal moment today was when my 13 year old son asked for me when I got home. He and I have a “butt heads and never see eye-to-eye” relationship.
I walked in his room where he was already tucked in bed. He looked at me and asked, “Was she a friend?” I replied, “Yeah. She was an awesome friend.” He sat up with open arms and gave me a big hug. I promised him I would be an old woman before I die and that I would be around a long time to stay on his butt about everything. Then he squeezed me a little tighter and said, “I love you, mom.” That moment made me realize the difference I make. My husband and boys are my strength, and my greatest weakness. I thank God for them.
For those who get upset with law enforcement when you get pulled over, they show up at your door because your neighbor complained about you, or you see cops sitting at a coffee shop and think of the stereotype, think about this:
On a daily basis we get called to the interstate for a reckless driver that turns into a deadly traffic crash; to an area where there was a 9-1-1 hangup with no other information only to find it was a wanted felon waiting to ambush us; to a domestic violence call where a kid beat up mom or mom beat a kid, where a guy beat his girlfriend to death in front of her kids; we get called to the scene where a child was sexually abused by a relative, then the next call is in a suburb where there’s a noise complaint from a neighbor. On a daily basis we arrive on scene with limited information and are expected to solve the publics’ problems in minutes that took them years to create.
On a daily basis we face the unknown dangers of a traffic stop, a 9-1-1 hangup, a fight in progress, a robbery or burglary, or a person with mental issues who went off their meds and isn’t law enforcement friendly. On a daily basis we go hours if not a full shift without eating or being able to stop and use a bathroom. We endure public ridicule at the cost of protecting their freedom of speech. On a daily basis we are moving targets for the bad guys who hunt us just as we hunt them.
Now think about this: At the end of shift, by the grace of God and our training, we go home. We sit down with loved ones who ask, “How was your day?” You don't tell them the bad. My reply, “Another busy day. How was yours?”
I ask only this of my friends and family, of my readers, of my critics: Think of your worst fear, multiply it by infinity, and look over your shoulder as you run away. You’ll see us running to face what you fear. It’s not about what we do, it’s about what we’re willing to do. Today, Barb reminded us of that.