The following article was submitted by a close friend and follower of LEO USA. Please enjoy as he recalls, what I believe to be, a lesson in his career he will never forget.
Recently I was asked to investigate the discovery of a piece of evidence that indicated that a crime had been committed in the location of the piece of evidence. On its face, the piece of evidence was intriguing enough. What was later discovered made the first piece of evidence, while still significant, pale in comparison to the entire story the evidence told. I do not intend to riddle you with obscurities through this whole article. I am being intentionally vague. Not because I wish to make you guess again and again until you get it, or because I enjoy knowing something that you don’t know. On the contrary, after quite possibly the most exhilaratingly satisfying tour of duty in my young career that day, I wanted nothing more than to shout from the rooftop my excitement and also to shed light on the crime. Instead, I found myself having to keep silence. But the investigation is ongoing and, for the sake of the integrity thereof, confidence must be maintained.
Such is the nature of our work. Some of the most intriguing and rewarding aspects of our profession will go unnoticed and unacknowledged by the general public, the community we serve — our families, friends and neighbors for whom we would willingly lay down our lives.
If we wanted recognition for every good deed or accomplishment, we would go into almost any other line of work. In our profession, we expect ourselves to do good and the same is expected of us by our communities. There is a serenity to carrying out ones duty without the expectation of being recognized, or ever having small acts of compassion brought to light. That is where a good law enforcement officer can find genuine altruism. We are, by nature, selfless people. We get up at, or stay up until, odd hours and leave our wives, husbands, sons, daughters, boyfriends and girlfriends and pets behind to risk our lives, health and safety for complete strangers for little monetary compensation. We have a career that demands much more of us than 40 hours a week. In terms of our physical time commitment — those hours when we are not physically at home — we spend probably 50 hours per week on the job. But that is the tip of the iceberg. When we are at home, our profession is never far from mind. It is a lifestyle that is all-encompassing. The total weekly time commitment to the profession is unquantifiable. In a corporate setting, many would find this level of commitment unsustainable. But we live and breathe this.
The drive to do the right thing, to do good, is so deeply ingrained that we doggedly pursue justice at every turn. Sometimes we are worn out and can be tempted to cut corners, but the best of us grin, bear it and do the right thing anyway — even if it means no sleep that night, or no meal during that tour, no time even for coffee. When presented with a case as intriguing and critical as that which I have recently experienced, dogged pursuit is the mot juste. There is a visceral drive to root out all the facts, to give no quarter to criminal activity, and to let the truth shine. We are the sheepdog, but perhaps we are also the bloodhound.
The other night I dug deeper, and as a result, my brothers dug deeper and found that the case was exponentially more involved than it had appeared on the surface. I can describe the evidence as none other than beautiful. Each piece fits so perfectly. And because we did good, there will be justice.