Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

End of watch.

In a medium-sized county, you don't know every cop, but you eventually hear about the recipients of the clown awards. We had a local guy pass, and I didn't know anything about him. Ergo, he wasn't a bad egg.

It was time to go pay my respects.

I took my wife, at least partly because she had never been to a cop's funeral, and might need to know what to expect. And for the company, because I'm selfish.

The place was packed with family and friends, and with police and fire personnel, along with dispatchers and EMTs and paramedics. A lot of us parked on the grass.

The ceremony went as they go. There were prayers and testimonials and a few funny stories. Having not known the man, I tried to pay attention. Finally, the deceased officer's chief directed those of us with radios (I was in uniform and thus was one of them.) to turn on our radios and monitor the officer's agency's dispatch frequency. As I did so, I realized what was coming, but my wife did not.

The chief called dispatch under his call number, and we waited. County dispatch beeped an alert tone, and called out the deceased officer's radio call number. No answer. Dispatch called it out again. No answer. Dispatch called it a third time.  Dispatch then announced the officer's end of watch date, and thanked him for his service.

The room, filled with a disproportionately high number of young-to-middle-aged men, pretty much as one ducked our heads into our hands to wipe our eyes.

That end of watch call* always gets me.


*Here's a version that I found on YouTube, which was vaguely like what I heard today.

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At Saturday, October 25, 2014 12:38:00 PM, Blogger eriko said...

Man you just made me cry and never served in any uniform.
Thank you in the best way.

At Saturday, October 25, 2014 6:10:00 PM, Anonymous daniels said...

Seems like someone has snuck in here and started cutting up onions.

Now I'm tearing up too...

At Sunday, October 26, 2014 9:35:00 AM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Yep, got a mite dusty over here too...

At Sunday, October 26, 2014 7:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not heard of this tradition. Awesome. I wasn't there and it got me.


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