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 four 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 1.5 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.
Editor’s Note: John Roman is a traffic officer for an Orange County police agency who writes a blog, Badge 415. His posts focus on the human side of police work and safety tips. Roman, a cop for more than 20 years, has handled more than 5,000 accidents as a collision investigator. BehindTheBadgeOC.com shares some of his columns.