FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Lynne Doucette

Lynne Doucette

Lt. Lynne D. Doucette is a patrol supervisor and defensive tactics trainer with the Brunswick (Maine) PD. Prior to being the first female promoted at BPD, she worked as an undercover detective assigned to the state narcotics task force.

Patricia Teinert

Patricia Teinert

Patricia A. Teinert has been a Texas peace officer since 1984. She has served as a patrol officer, investigator, and member of a juvenile gang and narcotics task force. She is currently a patrol officer with Katy ISD Police Department.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Women in Law Enforcement

Police Week: All of Our Blood Runs Blue

Family takes on a wider meaning when an officer visits the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial during Police Week.

May 18, 2012  |  by Lori Connelly - Also by this author

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C. Photo: Lori M. Connelly
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in D.C. Photo: Lori M. Connelly

As a recruit you are trained to be aware that during a shooting your sense of hearing is greatly diminished or lost and time feels like slow motion. Surroundings take on a surreal appearance. Distances may appear nearer or farther away depending on your perception of ability to control the situation.

Unlike television or movies where shoot-outs last minutes, in the real world the average gunfight involving law enforcement lasts only seconds. In the horrible events where officers have been lost to shootings, car accidents, or any of the other tragedies which have claimed their lives, those seconds don't end so quickly for those of us left behind. Actually they go on and on. You can feel it. Time becomes palpable. The collective pain is enormous. It doesn’t actually get better. It just gets crowded out by stuff in everyday life that seems to push it out of the way for a while.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. We need to remember, though. Our job isn't like working in a bank. We need to remember our brothers and sisters who have died doing this. We need to remember that pain doesn't have a timeline. It isn't like playing a game with a definitive start and finish. Life has that luxury, but grief does not.

This past week in Washington D.C. during Police Week it is estimated that a record of over 22,000 people attended ceremonies at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The names of the law enforcement officers honored on the two walls total 19,660 with another 300 to be added. The candlelight vigil starting off the week had a roll call for all of the officers lost during 2011. It’s grim. It hurts like nothing else, and if you can make it through it without crying I don't think you have a heart or guts. It takes a real man or woman to understand what the hell these families are going through.

I live in D.C. now and I regularly go to the memorial and follow what is happening with the progress on the museum. It is always a special place, but this week it was different. This week I saw a lot of my "family" I didn't even know. We can spot each other. It's the way we walk. It's the way we look at people to scan them and don't turn our backs to anyone except family. It's the way we linger at specific names on the wall and touch them after taking the best possible rubbing from it we could get to send to another squad mate back home. We trace our fingers over the letters, like that would somehow make the distance between the one we lost less. It’s the way we look for the wreaths to honor our fallen brothers and sisters and "get it" when we see their moms and dads there.

We get it, too, when we see the wife with children holding onto her hands as they look at the wall after taping "I love you Daddy" notes beneath his name. And more and more it's men coming to honor the female officers who have been lost in the line of duty.

Some people think female officers are more emotional than male officers. This may be so. I don't care. This week I don't think it mattered. All of our blood runs blue. Just like in a shooting, time felt like slow motion and the surroundings certainly had a surreal appearance. The biggest difference though was the sound. There really was a lot of silence. When the words came, we really listened. We really heard. I don’t think one single "I love you," or "I miss you," wasn't caught by someone.

Lori M. Connelly is a retired officer from a large police department in the Southwestern part of the United States who now lives in the D.C. area.

Related Articles:

Police Week 2012: Candlelight Vigil

Police Week Vigil Honors Sacrifice of Fallen Officers

Police Unity Tour Arrives at the National LEO Memorial

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine