MN8 Foxfire Visits the Cincinnati Police Department
Hero. It’s a word that is thrown around too much to many people that don’t deserve the honor of that title. A professional athlete is NOT a hero, a movie star is NOT a hero (even if they play one on film). A hero is someone that is willing to put their life on the line for someone they may have never met. A hero is not someone who is never scared, but rather someone that looks at danger and pushes through their fear to accomplish their mission. Author Brodi Ashton put it best, “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”
We are all privileged to work with heroes every time we report for duty at the fire station, but yesterday I had the chance to work with another group of heroes; police.
I had the honor to ride-a-long with the great men and women of the Cincinnati Police Department. Officer Matt Latzy was generous enough to let me ride shotgun with him during his shift. The day started out with the morning line-up. The duty sergeant covered information on some of the latest intelligence on some recent burglaries and incidents, and then the entire shift lined up for weapon and gear inspection. It reminded me of my days back in the US Marine Corps hearing the commands dress right dress, inspection arms, etc. We loaded up in the patrol car and were immediately dispatched to a robbery in progress.
As we were looking for the suspect, several irate females decided to start yelling at each other in the middle of the street. Here we are actively patrolling for a suspect and these two women are standing in the middle of the street blocking us from passing as they yelled back and forth about the one lady needing her shoes and cd back form the other’s apartment. I was very impressed with the ability of Officer Latzy to both control the situation and diffuse the tempers. As we continued our patrol, I asked him how was he able to keep his personal emotions in check while he engaged these two disrespectful and highly incensed people during such a high stress environment.
He told me that he loves his wife and kids and that he would never let some idiot(s) get in the way for providing for his family. He said that when he puts on his uniform he transforms. His job is to keep the peace. He becomes all about the job and puts his personal comfort and emotions aside. This is professionalism, this is what makes first responders such incredible people. This is what it means to put the greater good of society above the personal comfort of the individual.
As firefighters we do everything together. We eat together, we sleep together, we battle the dragon together. It’s a little different with police in that they spend the vast majority of their day riding solo. This all changes when a run comes out. As Officer Latzy was patrolling the radio lit up with the report of a man brandishing a gun. Instantly the radio traffic was filled with various officers responding to the scene.
We pulled up to the area and saw a suspect matching the description. Officer Latzy relayed the information to the other officers and almost instantly four patrol cars converged on the suspect from different angles. He was surrounded with nowhere to go and instantly surrendered.
What I saw was an amazing display of teamwork, communication and brotherhood. Even though they may spend the majority their time as individuals, when someone needs help they all come together. Just like the fire service they are brothers and a brother never lets a brother down.