Blue Lives Matter is a book that explores the line-of-duty deaths suffered by the law enforcement “”blue”” family. This book examines the deaths of eight police officers and one police canine in Los Angeles County. The chapters portray the fallen officers and the canine as true heroes who each made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community. The cases include the murder of two officers solved over 40 years later; an officer murdered in front of his young son; two officers kidnapped and taken to an onion field where one officer is executed; an undercover officer murdered during a multi-million dollar drug transaction; an off-duty officer murdered by two gang members while riding his bicycle; and a cop-killer who fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution.
Co-authors Steve Cooley and Bob Schirn discuss each case in detail. Each chapter discusses the incident that cost the officer his life. The court proceedings are reviewed, including victim impact testimony of the effect of the officer’s death on family members and fellow officers. A Lessons Learned segment in each chapter is designed to increase officer safety and awareness of dangerous situations.
Steve Cooley is a career prosecutor who served three full terms as the District Attorney of Los Angeles County. He was a reserve police officer for LAPD. He is uniquely positioned to discuss his involvement in each case and eminently qualified to provide perspectives and opinions on each case.#
Dedicated to those who made the ultimate sacrifice
By Piaras on 13 December 2017 for Emerald Book Reviews
‘What we ask of our service members, and what they are willing to do, should be held in our hearts; we who carry the memory and the witness of their sacrifice.’
Blue Lives Matter – In the Line of Duty by Steve Cooley and Robert Schirn takes a sobering and candid look at police officers who have been killed in the line of duty. It lays out the cold, hard realization of life on the blue line.
Being a police officer is a demanding and often stressful job. On a daily basis, officers are exposed to the worst that humankind has to offer. They are called upon to make life and death decisions in a split-second, and margins for error are often slim. As civilians, we often overlook just how demanding and stressful being a police officer can be. But they’re just ordinary people like you and me, who sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community.
Blue Lives Matter is a very well written and researched book. It graphically illustrates the horrific murders of eight fallen officers and an equally brave police dog named Liberty. Those officers were: Richard Phillips (28), Milton Curtis (25), Ian Campbell (32), Kenneth Scott Wrede (26), Detective Thomas Williams (42), Detective Tommy De La Rosa (43), Deputy David March (43), Captain Michael Sparkes (53) and police dog Liberty of the K9 Unit who was 6 years old.
For the author’s this was an up-close and personal process of dealing with the fatality of fellow officers and the impact that reverberates not only through the entire blue community, but society in general. The exhaustion and negative emotions that must be dealt with are vividly portrayed, as is the painstaking effort that goes into an investigation.
The light that shines out from this very dark tunnel are the ‘Lessons Learned’ segments given at the end of each chapter. They are designed to ‘raise awareness and to enhance officer safety while giving them the tools to help save more lives and potentially protect them from dangerous situations.’ Much can be learned from this book, so it would be a highly recommended (if not required) read for all law enforcement officials.
Finally, for the officers mentioned above, and indeed for all those who have fallen in the line of duty, may they rest in peace and thank you for your service.