When Beverly Hills PD Cadet Brad Edens faced a choice between pursuing a career in local law enforcement and joining the U.S. Coast Guard, his colleagues and mentors at BHPD helped him see how much the Coast Guard path meant to him.
Particularly, when Edens spoke about his friend Justin Meek.
A fellow California Lutheran University student, Justin Meek was working at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7, when a gunman entered the bar, killing 12 people, including Meek. By all accounts, Meek acted heroically, saving the lives of countless others before he was shot.
Edens wasn’t there that night – he had to report to work at BHPD in the morning, so he had gone to bed early. But he had spent plenty of time at Borderline with the country music-loving Meek, and the two would talk about Meek’s desire to join the U.S. Coast Guard.
“I realized that choosing this route, it’s bigger than myself. He can’t do this anymore, so the fact that I am going to do it is pretty special to me,” he said. “I’ll be thinking about him.”
At a going-away breakfast on Thursday, BHPD officials gathered to congratulate Edens and wish him well.
“He was a perfect fit for the BHPD Cadet program and quickly gained a department-wide reputation for his hard work and humble spirit,” said Sgt. Blake Nance. “The Coast Guard is a fantastic and a well-respected organization and certainly part of the law enforcement family, and they’ve definitely scored a top-shelf candidate.”
Edens, who is graduating from Cal Lutheran this month, has been selected for the Coast Guard’s Officer Candidate School, a rigorous 17-week course in leadership, management, navigation, law enforcement and military subjects. He said his 2 ½ years as a BHPD Cadet has prepared him well.
“Working as a cadet provides you with an inside-out look at law enforcement,” he said. “Before I started, I think I underestimated the commitment to the lifestyle. Law enforcement is not a job, it’s a career, and if affects you and your family. It is one of the most noble professions there is.”
At his going away breakfast Thursday, Edens’ supervisors and mentors wished him well and complimented his maturity, integrity and commitment.
“Cadet Edens is solid and could go to any law enforcement organization out there and quickly excel,” Nance said.