Monday, January 7, 2013

Remembering and Praying For a Norwich Police Officer

It's been over ten years since I wore those things pictured to the right but when I turned in that badge and put the tie clip and name tag away for the last time in August of 2002, I didn't put away my concern and feelings for the men and women that I once dispatched at the Norwich Police Department.  Because of that, when I caught the news clip tonight declaring that a police officer had been shot during a stand-off at a Norwich residence, my blood ran cold.

At first it seemed rather unreal, like I had somehow managed to teleport myself back to Stockton, California where I first became a dispatcher and officer involved shootings were - sadly - quite common but the world has become a different place and things like school shootings, mall shootings, and officer-involved shootings can obviously happen anywhere. There's no such thing as "it'll never happen here" anymore as unfortunately it does and does so more frequently these days.

Photo Credit: Groton Police via Facebook
As of this writing, a stand-off is still underway at the location where a mentally disturbed man pumped five bullets into a young man who I fondly remember from his rookie days at NPD and beyond.  Others know him as Officer Jonathan Ley but I always think of him as "The Monkey" as that became his nickname shortly after he came on duty.  He was quick, he was smart, he was a decent bowler, off-duty he wore some pretty outlandish Hawaiian shirts, and he had a great sense of humor which you have to have if you're going to be a law enforcement officer.

No doubt, Jonathan is still all of those things and more - still a member of the Coast Guard Reserve, still someone with a great sense of humor, and still a darned good cop while also taking on the role of father to a son who no doubt idolizes him and who's going to wonder why daddy hasn't come home from work this evening and why somebody would want to hurt him.

Since I heard the news and found out who the officer was that had been shot, I have been hoping and praying that Jonathan will recover fully from his injuries; I've been hoping and praying for all of the men and women at Norwich Police - those I know and those I never met; and I have been hoping and praying that those who were sitting on the other side of the radio and heard those horrible words that we as dispatchers never ever want to hear are holding up okay.  People always seem to think that this sort of stuff doesn't really affect the dispatchers like it does the field officers but I can guarantee you that it does - more than you will ever know.

Finally, I am hoping and praying that the world somehow manages to stop the downhill slide that it's on as this is not the legacy that we want to be leaving our children and grandchildren. And it's not just about gun control, it's about people who are mentally ill getting the help that they need - help that works and doesn't just put a band-aid on a serious injury.

God be with you, Monkey, as he watches over you, heals your wounds, and brings you home to the family that loves you. I may have been gone for ten years, but I've never forgotten. 

4 comments:

  1. This whole area is getting worse and worse. The gangs have taken over and it's not safe to go out at night for the most part. The police are the only thin line of safety many have. God bless them and may Monkey heal and go home to that family that he loves and that loves him. :)

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  2. I'll pray for your friend's recovery Linda. x

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  3. My sister Janice is married to a cop so, as you can imagine, this is something she worries about daily. The world is full of crazy and evil. May God keep us safe from them and heal your friend.

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  4. Please heal completely, Monkey Man. Skeery stuff. Sending prayers for him and his family.

    Big hugs to you, honey...

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