October 10, 2018
In 1987, I began my career as a police officer with the United States Park Police (USPP). My first assignment was uniform patrol on the Baltimore/Washington Parkway and then, a couple of years later, worked as a plains clothes investigator in the narcotics and vice unit. In 1993, I was promoted to sergeant responsible for protecting the national ICONs in DC then later as a supervisor in the DC Joint Fugitive Task Force. In 1996, I was selected to lead a SWAT team. From parades to Presidential protection, the highway to undercover, every day was a new adventure in protecting and serving the public.
In 1998, I began the second half of my career as a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and was assigned to the Baltimore Field Division. This role led to major criminal investigative work to include the 9/11 investigation, the DC Sniper case and ATF’s first Title III investigation as a DOJ component. In 2007, I was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent to run the case management system in HQ and promoted again to the National Tracing Center before retiring in 2013 after 26+ years of federal law enforcement service.
October 8, 2018
Officer Stephen Thibodeau started his Law Enforcement career by joining a Gainesville Florida Police Explorer post as a teenager. After high school, he attended the Santa Fe College Law Enforcement Academy. He was later employed by the Waldo Florida Police Department as a part-time patrol officer.
In 1987, Officer Thibodeau was employed as a full-time police officer by the Ocala Florida Police Department. He served in the Community Policing Patrol Division for four years. In 1991, he was promoted to Corporal and transferred to the Investigative Services Division. He served as a Major Crimes Detective for the next twenty-one years. In 2012, Detective Thibodeau was reassigned to a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in the Jacksonville Division. Deputized as a United States Marshal and FBI Special Federal Officer, Detective Thibodeau served as a full-time Task Force Officer on a Federal violent crimes Task Force for the next five years. In 2017, Detective Thibodeau retired from full-time employment after thirty-one years of service to the citizens of his community.
During his distinguished career, Officer Thibodeau received eighty-seven commendations and awards from various local, state and federal agencies. The awards include two Distinguished Police Officer medals, two Chief’s Award of Merit, and the first Vance Ferguson Award of Merit for investigative excellence.
Officer Thibodeau continues his public service as Reserve Police Officer, a local CrimeStoppers board member, and a Security Coordinator for a North Central Florida College.
October 4, 2018
Hi, my name is Ret. Sgt. James T. Adams, Jr. I joined the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department/Department of Correctional Services in April of 1993 when I was 27 years old, because I wanted to serve my community and continue a family legacy. My mother was employed as a member of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office at the time of my hiring. One thing that surprised me about being a Law Enforcement Officer was the immediate gratitude and respect afforded to me. I never expected that level of gratitude. I’m sharing this because I want my community to know that I appreciate the support through the years and I’d do it all over again. I’m so honored to be remembered in this Museum, because this is unexpected. The job of policing is so necessary, it supports not only our daily interactions but, our way of life. I’m truly humbled and thankful.
October 2, 2018
Hi, my name is Denise. I joined the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission in 1981 when I was 25 years old.
As a young boy, I watched “The FBI” starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr., on ABC most Sunday nights. My dream was to become an FBI Special Agent. I first joined the U.S. Air Force out of high school and served five years as a Security Police Officer. I later earned a degree in Criminal Justice from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. In 1988, I was chosen to become a Special Agent in the FBI. I served in various roles of increasing responsibility in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, two tours at FBIHQ in Washington, DC and a special assignment in Rome, Italy. I joined the FBI to arrest fugitives and bank robbers, to investigate criminal enterprises and terror organizations – all of which I did. I was the case agent for FBI Top 10 Fugitive #448; I worked long term, deep undercover against the La Cosa Nostra in Las Vegas; I proudly led the FBI’s Undercover Program; and I served as the FBI’s lead during the Pope’s 2008 trip to the United States.
But one case taught me the most about being an FBI Agent. In 1994, a young, three-year-old boy was kidnapped and taken to a foreign country. What ensued was a rather intricate international rescue operation that resulted in the boy’s safe recovery. I still carry the picture of the young rescued boy in my wallet today. It shows his Grandmother crying tears of joy, and he is wearing the FBI hat I had just placed on him as he first arrived in America following his rescue. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned that helping people meant even more than catching the most dangerous criminal or solving the most complex crime. And, that public service is truly and honor and a privilege.
I was appointed as Deputy Sheriff with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, California, on March 20, 1987. I was promoted to Sergeant in 2004. I’m due to retire November 16, 2018 after 31 years of service to my community. I worked every bureau and my highlight assignments were: bomb squad, gang investigations, school resource officer, search and rescue, field training officer and field training sergeant.
Mahatma Gandhi said it well: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I did just that! I’ve been a public servant since the mid-1970s. From my days with the Boy Scouts, the fire dept., law enforcement and to one of my favorite community organizations: Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes. My work defined me and made me who I am today!
As my career comes to a close, I was thinking about my most challenging moment physically and mentally at work. The 1989 Loma Prieta-San Francisco earthquake came to mind. Probably the biggest natural disaster I had ever been involved in. I had to leave family behind during their greatest time of need from me. My son was only 2 weeks old. The first 3 days were chaotic and we all worked straight through with no sleep. There was no food or water available and our command post was a used bread truck converted into a command center in front of the county building. To survive, we ate food and drank water from the kindness of people cooking what was left of their food on their front lawns. We had no power for days. We eventually organized, and I ended up on 12 hour shifts for 3 weeks straight with no days off. Greatest moment of my work life!
I will miss the people I worked with side-by-side in the face of danger every shift. I forged lifetime friendships in this business and leaving them behind is truly sad. But I am excited for the next chapter in my life outside of law enforcement. And yes, it involves rolling sushi and bartending part-time to have fun, stay busy, active and social.
Law enforcement was the greatest job I ever had, and I would do it all over again if I could!
September 27, 2018
There is a joke in my family that I was “destined” to be a police officer. Not just because it ran in the family blood as my father and both his brothers had careers in law enforcement, but my mother was transported “code 3” in my dad’s police car to the hospital while in labor with me.
Twenty-one years later, September 13, 2001, I was sworn as a police officer within the same county my family had served. With graduation just being two days after the attacks of 9/11, my young eyes opened to the new threats facing our community.
During my years as a patrol officer, I enjoyed conducting traffic enforcement. Every officer has their part of police work that they enjoy more than another. My thought was traffic safety affects the lives of everyone from infant to senior. Collision investigation inspired me to apply to be a Detective with the Collision Reconstruction Unit which investigates collisions involving death or life-threatening injuries – a rewarding position by serving grieving families after their love ones unexpectedly died. No one “plans” to die from a motor vehicle collision.
Another rewarding position was being a tactical medic for our SWAT team. While 99% of the incidents did not require the use of the medic, being available for the team members and the community was rewarding.
I have been fortunate to be promoted with my agency to the rank of Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. I am often asked “what was your favorite period as a police officer?” I enjoyed being a patrol Sergeant as I was still answering the calls for service, providing mentoring for new officers, being the decision maker, and leading a team.
One lesson I would pass on to anyone is to create a personal mission statement to guide you in life. Every organization, business, or group, has a mission statement to state the organization’s purpose, goal, values, and future vison. As a person, take a moment to write out what your mission is in your life. When you are having those bad days, take out that mission statement and use it to guide you to overcome.
To live a life of service to others through honesty, integrity, and fairness.
Eventually after I move on from law enforcement, I want to be remembered as having a positive impact on “someone.” I may never know who the person is or how I affected their life but I will be satisfied knowing that in 25+ years of service I made a difference.
Hi, my name is Bradley Morse. I joined the Mohawk Police Department in 2009 when I was 24 years old, because I wanted to give back to the community that I grew up in. One thing that surprised me about being a Patrolman is that I’d never expected a mass shooting in our small area. Our Village is roughly one square mile with 2500 residents. On the day of March 13, 2013, a male armed with a shotgun, shot four people in the local barbershop, killing two. He then went to our neighboring Village of Herkimer and shot and killed two other people. On March 14, 2018, the FBI lost K9 Ape when the suspect shot him. I’m sharing this because I want my community to know that even in times that evil rears its ugly head, there is a group of dedicated professionals willing to put their lives on the line to stop the chaos and insure they are protected from those evils.
On May 9, 2017, Officer James Boulay was the answer to my prayers. He responded with incredible courage, honor and self-sacrifice while displaying a well-disciplined skillset that indicated integrity. While in pursuit of two suspects in a stolen vehicle, he demonstrated cultural competency as he worked to diffuse the event by presenting multiple opportunities for compliance. Although he ultimately had to discharge his weapon because his life was in danger as was mine, it was a last resort.
I am submitting this today to genuinely thank him for being an honorable man; he is an asset to the Bridgeport, Connecticut community and deserves the upmost respect. I am a true witness to his performance.
September 25, 2018
This is my little brother, Brian. He followed my career path becoming a police officer for Andover Twp, NJ. He was very special because of his academic success in high school and college. He could have done anything, but he chose to pursue law enforcement. He earned a full academic scholarship to Seton Hall University and had originally planned to become a doctor.
This is Brian participating in a safety program with the kindergarten class in the Andover Twp Schools.
He started dispatching during his first year of college and was exposed to the police service. He switched his career goals and began attending the police academy at night and on the weekends, while still in college. He served briefly as an Essex County Deputy Sheriff before being hired as a Patrolman in his hometown of Andover Twp, NJ. During his time as a police officer he loved community policing and working with kids in the local schools. He was a big supporter and volunteer for programs run by the NJ Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors.
Brian proudly served his community and was credited with saving the life of at least one man. He attended Police Week and visited the National Law Enforcement Memorial as a representative of his department twice. Brian’s life and police service was cut short when he died in an off-duty traffic accident on April 19, 2010. He was just 25 years old.
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