Heroes in Blue

Early on Christmas morning, responding to a pre-dawn call, reportedly of shots fired, six Nashville police officers raced to the scene in the downtown commercial district to discover an isolated RV camper parked and playing the song “Downtown,” along with an ominous recorded warning of a pending explosion.

As the recorded music continued to blare, counting down, as it did, each minute to the predicted explosion, the officers spread out to get as many people up and out of those buildings as possible, while also stopping any traffic heading into the area.  And, sadly, while evacuating men, women, and children from the danger of the immediate area, as is unfortunately the life of a police officer today, the six Nashville PD officers (four men and two women) kept their eyes peeled for any possible ambush intent. Recalled Officer James Wells: “I actually told everybody when we came out to make sure we look at the high ground and parking garages, just in case (of an) active shooter. Every time we came out of a building, we made sure we were looking around and checking high areas. Just making sure nobody was peeking around and looking at us.”

At the forewarned recorded time, the music stopped, and the explosion erupted, crumpling a large section of that downtown street area.  Said one of the witnessing officers: “I just saw the biggest flames I’ve ever seen, the biggest explosion.  I just saw orange.  I felt the blast.  I felt the heat, the wave.  I don’t know how I kept my footing.”  The damage to buildings and businesses along that commercial strip was extensive.  Some owners lost everything.  It’s been determined that the bomber died, intentionally, in the blast, with only theories, nothing firm yet, on why he did what he did.

Thanks to the bravery of those police officers, who clearly went deep into harm’s way, there were no fatalities, other than the aforementioned bomber, only limited non-life-threatening injuries to civilians, and amazingly, given their proximity to the explosion, none of the responding police officers were injured either.  The pride of Nashville, these six officers are bona fide heroes.  Hopefully, suitable awards will follow for the life-sparing courage they displayed.

Meanwhile, in Alliance, Ohio, a woman on her way home from work at night, fell asleep at the wheel, and unknowingly drove her minivan into a river alongside the highway.  The water was about six-feet deep where she landed.  She was jolted awake, called for help on her cell phone, and with the doors underwater, she managed to climb into the back seat in an effort to stay above the water line.  A responding Alliance police officer climbed down into the dark, cold river water to attempt the rescue.  He ended up having to break open the vehicle’s rear window as the only option for getting to her and pulling her out to safety.   A lieutenant with the department told a local newspaper that “her car was almost full of water when the officers pulled her out of the river. If these officers had been late by 30-seconds, I don’t think she would be here.”  The woman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released, fortunate beyond belief to be alive.  Once again, in literally chilling circumstances, a person’s life was definitely saved thanks to the fast actions and courage of responding police officers.

Regrettably, such grit, such respond to any situation when called, and such absolute courage anointed by their uniform and badge, all too often comes with a steep, irreversible price.  The number of police officers who died in the line of duty in 2020 increased by 60% over 2019.  Of perhaps unique note, much of the increase wasn’t caused by more gunfire or other mayhem.  It was largely due, as with the civilian population at large, to the coronavirus!

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, cited were 179 officer deaths due to coronavirus complications, 45 to gunfire and 20 to automobile accidents (to include being struck while attending to a crash).  According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund: “The year 2020 has proven to be as horrific year for law enforcement.  America’s law enforcement officers were confronted with the pandemic, protests, and defund police movements, which made it not only one of the most challenging years in recent memory, but one of the deadliest.”

We as a city, county, state, and nation are truly blessed to be served, and protected, by so many of America’s finest men and women.  Men and women, like those in our freedom-protecting military, who have families, who put on their uniform, badge, and gun, and go to work each day to selflessly, courageous protect us, with no guarantee that they, themselves, will return safely home at shift’s end.  Sincere thanks to all those who serve patrol our streets and serve our people tirelessly, in the dedicated, protective, and reassuring uniforms of blue.


(Nashville PD heroes’ data & quotes via nypost.com, Aaron Feis, 12-27-20; Alliance, Ohio rescue & quote via breitbart.com, Katherine Rodriguez, 11-25-20; Police officers lost in 2020 stats & quote via foxnews.com, Greg Norman, 12-30-20).