By Fred Maas, Police Chief
(September 28, 2015) – On the night of Thursday, September 3 2015, Officer John Childress, a young officer of less than two years on the job, stopped in at Tony Roma’s Restaurant for his dinner break. He ate alone but noticed a couple in the booth next to him paying particularly close attention to him. They did not approach or speak to John, and left before he did.
When John went to pay his bill, the waitress handed him a note and told him that his meal had been paid for by the young woman. John was stunned. He didn’t even get a chance to say thank you! It didn’t matter, the waitress said it for him.
The note, handwritten, simply stated:
“Dear Law Enforcement Officer, My fiancé, Deputy Jacob Calvin, was killed in the line of duty in June of 2014. Thank you for all the sacrifices that you make every day. I somewhat understand the challenges that you face every day. The thin blue line stands strong. Take Care and Be Safe. Thanks again!
Officer Childress was stunned and moved. He shared the encounter with his Sergeant who passed it on to us. Further research revealed that Deputy Jacob Calvin was a deputy sheriff for Tipton County in Indiana and lived in a small community nearby. His death shocked the entire community. He was killed while responding to a call, in a single vehicle crash. He and his fiancé, Samantha (Sam) were to be married in the fall.
We never met Sam. We are not sure, if she was here on vacation or business. But her stopover in Sunny Isles Beach, sent a clear emotional and sobering message to John, his squad and others from our department. That message was gratitude, loyalty, respect and support for all Law Enforcement Officers (L.E.O.’s) from a young woman who had her heart broken and her future taken away in an instant. Some would be bitter. Some would be recluse. Some would never recover. But some like Sam, will show their undying support in honor of their lost loved one, by saying Thank You to our men and women in Law Enforcement!
And Thank You Samantha, and to the entire Calvin family, for the sacrifices you have endured. God Bless and Keep All of Us Safe!!
(Author’s Note: The sheer irony of this story taking place, the night after a local, female officer was refused service at a restaurant for being a cop, was uncanny to say the least. I only wish this story had garnered so much positive attention as the other story did negative.)