Friday, April 29, 2011

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

I was going to continue my Retrospectives series today, but this has been a long week...

Eugene Police Officer Christopher Kilcullen was killed in action last week.

For those of you who are not familiar with my personal life, I am a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for Central Lane 911. We dispatch fire & medical for about 90% of Lane County, dispatch for all of Eugene Police, and as a Communications center we intake calls for several other police agencies including Springfield Police, Lane County Sheriff's Office, and more. Last week we lost one of our own. I don't have all of the details and I would not be disseminating them online, but it has been a bit of a ride this week.

Today I volunteered my day off to come and in and staff the dispatch center so that most of my coworkers could attend the funeral service today. It was an honor as I got to work alongside fellow dispatchers from three other agencies, all of whom volunteered to give their time to answer our phones, cover our streets, and protect our city while the department mourned.

I didn't know Kilcullen personally but I have heard a lot about him. He was the kind of officer that got praise and commendations from the people he wrote tickets to. Multiple people have cited documented commendations he received that started with "Officer Kilcullen wrote me a ticket I deserved and..."

They talked about his kindness. They talked about his respect. He would speak the same way to a man on the streets as to a fellow officer, or a supervisor. He would do his best to help everyone. He embraced the idea of 'To Serve and Protect' not as a motto but as a point of view, and a way of life. He lived his life as most of us merely claim to, and with a clarity that few of us dare to dream.

I never had the honor of meeting him, but I can only hope to pass along his message. To help your fellow man, and to do what is right.

You are missed, Chris.

Find peace.