In May of 1990, my uncle Eddie (Ed to most people) graduated from the academy and became a Deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. I missed his graduation because I had a final to take at school.
I remember the graduation party at my grandmother’s house after I finished my test at school. Eddie was wearing his uniform with his shiny deputy star on his chest as he posed for pictures with us. He was 4 years older than me and the first cop in our family. I was proud of him.
After he started working, he encouraged me to be a deputy. One day I went over his house and we had a long talk about police work. That conversation, along with another with a family neighbor, who worked for LAPD, pushed me toward a police career.
I can still picture where I sat in his house and how I left knowing the seed was planted for a career in law enforcement. That seed was later watered during a ride along with the Los Angeles Police Department that was set up through my mom’s neighbor.
I graduated from the Orange County Sheriff’s academy about 1 1/2 years after that conversation at Eddie’s house. It was a great moment to stand next to Eddie, who was there in his uniform. It was actually the only time we were in uniform together.
Now, after almost 26 years as a deputy, Eddie retired. It’s hard to believe he’s now a “retired cop.” Knowing he’s retired means I’m really not that far behind him, which is weird. I still have a ways to go, but the sun will set on my police career before I know it just like it did for Eddie.
Congrats on your retirement. Now, let’s go back to Maui.