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Happy Thanksgiving!

By Thonie Hevron

Our usual post from our roster of coppers is taking a break today. For Hal Collier’s take on turkey day on the job, go to Thursday’s post.

We have a lot to be thankful for: if you are reading this, you likely have your own device be it pc, phone, laptop, or tablet. I am thankful that you have the mean$ to afford it. If you’re reading this at home, I’m thankful you have a roof over your head. If you’re at work, glad you have a job.

2017 has been a crazy year. I’m thankful that my career pays me not to come to work (Hm, maybe I should re-think that one, but retirement is worth it!). I’m thankful that I have a family that supports us and comes when needed, even when not asked (I’m not so good at asking for help). I’m thankful to be living in a wonderful small town, Petaluma, Ca. where both my husband and I worked for years–he retired from Petaluma Fire Department and I worked for Petaluma PD for ten years. I live in a block where three or four of my old co-workers live and thankfully, I see them regularly. This is HOME.

Speaking of home, my sisters Pat and Nancy are my home both here and long distance. Thank you for being my irreverent, silly, loving sisters. Cousins Sue and Sandie are the best!

I have some of the best friends ever! I thank God every day for Jan and Lori, Maria and Billie, and so many more. Thanks for holding me up when I need it and making me laugh–all of you!

I’m thankful for my goofy dog, Jimmy who makes me laugh and my kitty, Yaz, who give great cuddles.


Photo taken 4.01.2010 at Oakmont’s Quail Inn

But most of all, I’m thankful for my lovely husband, Danny. I cannot imagine life without him. For thirty-five years, he’s been beside me, walking this path of life. His humor, insights and morality inspire me daily. If not for him, I wouldn’t have found the focus (or time) to write.


But that’s another story.

I’m thankful for all the blessings in my life. And you, dear reader, are a huge part of that! I’m thankful for you.



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I Went to a Funeral Today

By Thonie Hevron

I went to a funeral today.

That in itself is isn’t newsworthy. But the theme that ran through the service was almost tangible. I could feel it with every hug, hand shake and pat on the back.

“Honor the brotherhood.”

imagesIn the way of backstory, let me say that the man who died was in his mid-sixties and passed with the kind of grace and courage that reverberated throughout the crowd. He had been a fire-fighter for eight years and worked with my husband who is a retired firefighter. Those eight years made all the difference.

Fully, a third of the crowd was from the Petaluma Fire Department. It made my heart proud to see the familiar faces of my husband and my past there to honor their brother and comfort the widow.

You see, firefighters know about honor. They know about entrusting their lives to another with confidence. They know about the secret language between them that defies words. They know about pride—not the cardinal sin kind, but what makes your chest swell when someone asks what you do. The kind of pride you feel when your job is well done.

It’s the same for cops, and dare I say—dispatchers and all other non-sworn.

Richard E. Perkins
Richard E. Perkins

When we lose one of our own, it’s like a little piece of ourselves is lost. Some people have lost more than one–my colleague from LAPD, Hal Collier has lost many friends in the line of duty. Myself, I have only lost one–Officer Richard Perkins, EOW (end of watch) August 15, 2001.

I’ll never forget the night I was notified. An officer rang my doorbell in the middle of the night. When he told me, I felt like he punched me in the stomach. That feeling has only slightly diminished with time. Richard was a good friend, one whose loss I will always feel. But there is something bigger at work here.

Police officers and firefighters are who you call for help. They If they aren’t there, what do you do?

If my thoughts make you think emergency workers believe they have a franchise on grief, then I’m not getting my point across. We see others’ grief almost every day: death notifications, traffic accidents, and the like. When it happens to us, it defies our sense of identity. There isn’t a cop I know who wouldn’t admit we think of ourselves as the good guys: the people who are just short of super-heroes who save Joe Citizen. When one of us goes down, it’s a loss we all feel. It’s more than facing our mortality; it’s a loss for society.

Whether it is an accident, ambush or otherwise, any agency who has lost an officer in the line of duty will leave an indelible mark on all its employees. This is why I change my Facebook profile photo to a black and blue banner.

It’s my way of honoring the fallen.