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P1 First Person: The midnight warrior

By Deputy Michael S. Zimmerman
La Porte County (Ind.) Sheriff's Office

Officer Down... Two words that haunt the thoughts of every officer. Two little words that every officer prays they will never utter and their comrades never hear. No matter if you have been on the force for twenty days or twenty years, those words send a shutter to the soul and a sickening feeling to the gut like a hard sucker punch. That’s just what it is, a sucker punch. An event that no one was planning for yet, it occurred just the same. It is an announcement of danger, a demand for assistance, a cry for help, a plea for mercy, and a voice of fury like no other. It is an alert, a wake-up call to all those listening. Two words that evoke almost every range of emotion including fear, rage, sorrow, confusion, and even a little joy... “Thank God it wasn’t me.”

Every time those words are cried out the world stops — but still moves in fast forward. There is an immediate rush to resolve what has happened. The need for justice. The desire for vengeance. The demand for answers.

Two words. Two words that can change the lives of many. Whether a simple accident, a minor injury, or a fatal blow. Those two words are the rise and fall of many. It is within that moment that a true warrior is defined; be it officer, victim, comrade, responder, or family. That moment of altered time is the key to success for all others. For it is not the battles they are soon to face, but how they face the battles ahead which determine their success. Our success is only limited by the amount of our determination.

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