It’s awesome to be able to see each day that people care.
I live on the edge of town so I am often driving pretty long distances on the streets and freeways of Metropolitan Phoenix. The freeway can seem like a pretty lonely place as I only catch quick glimpses of people as we pass by each other.
It can also feel like a dangerous place as cars zoom past and weave around over all the lanes. I’m always on the defense, trying not to get run into, trying not to become a ‘statistic’ on the freeway.
This city seems like an even more dangerous place to me since my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016. Too many guns. Too much drugs. Too many angry and confused people.
The violence happened so fast. It could happen anywhere. It is happening somewhere in the city – all the time.
I can’t let that stop me from living my life to the fullest so I have to figure out ways to focus on the positives. And I have begun to watch for Fallen Officer Plates on cars. Arizona has Fallen Officer Car License plates that anyone can get. The plate has a small annual fee which goes to Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). This organization provides support for survivors of Line of Duty deaths. They care for people like me and my family and they have been very helpful. Many of the people who work and volunteer there are survivors themselves.
So they know.
Several years before Davey’s death, he was adamant that we all get Fallen Officer’s plates. He and Kristen went to every local fallen officer’s funeral and he wanted to help make sure the officers were remembered and the survivors taken care of. A big smile came onto his face and he pointed it out when he saw the plates start appearing on our cars. Other states also have special plates – it’s not limited to Arizona. My daughter lives in Colorado and she has a Fallen Hero plate.
So, when I’m on the freeways and streets of Phoenix, I’m watching for car license plates. I like the new first responder plates with the thin blue line and the red line but I am partial to the Fallen Officer plates for obvious reasons. When I see one, I always wonder if the person driving lost an officer or knew a fallen officer. I realize many of them are probably like us before Davey’s death – supporting all fallen officers’ families.
Some of the licenses are personalized and I have been known to look up a name or date or badge number if it doesn’t look familiar to me. My plate is personalized – reminding all of us of Davey’s legacy of ‘love you’. I have seen people behind me take pictures of my plate. I have seen passengers in cars looking like they are doing what I do – Googling 8144 to see whose badge number it is. There are several personalized plates around the valley with Davey’s name, badge number and “Love you” on them. When you see one, please remember how much Davey loved this city and he was willing to risk it all to make it a safer place for us to live.
It feels like my Blue family is out on the road next to me when I see a Fallen Officer plate. These people recognize that officers have sacrificed everything to help keep evil off of our streets. They remember that our freedom is not free. These people are trying to cut through the anonymity of the city to show that they care.
I see you.
And it helps.
Miss you, Davey.