Or, like I used to say:
"I would never make that mistake."
Be careful about judging other officers or the ones who come to their aid. We cannot know all of the facts by reading a one-minute summary of what happened. Until we do know what happened-- all of the facts-- we cannot really learn from these incidents. Even though I wrote a book about the incidents of 2011, I am still learning from these fallen officers and those who knew them. Enter: Chief George Bruneio (pictured).
Courtesy of a fellow officer, I was given the opportunity to meet with Chief George Bruneio (ret.) last week. George retired two weeks ago, but is still trying to understand why he was called to witness the death of Officer Robert Lasso (EOW 8/11/2011), who was his officer and his friend. George told me that Robert was like a son to him.
Our discussion was deeply moving and profound. George is as real and as honest as anyone I have ever met. Because of our private discussion, George became willing to tell his story to others. In a room full of cops at our Officer Down seminar last week, George spoke publicly about that day, that call, and that very personal loss on the darkest day that any police officer could live through. He told us his story, which included the reason why he didn't take revenge on the shooter who killed his officer. His courage was inspiring. I believe, through his willingness to talk about that which is devastating and heart-rending, others can learn from his (and Robert's) experience.
Chief Bruneio wanted me to tell you this: Robert was fearless. He was a loyal and devoted public servant. He was a loving husband and father. And, his memory will never die.
Thank you for telling us your story, George. I am honored to have met you.