One often hears that it is a brotherhood. What? The law enforcement world. I mean there is the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). A brotherhood.
However, in the world of Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and state agency Park entities, we are a family. The reason? There are few of us. We usually work solo with backup often being more than 30 minutes away and that is usually close.
I remember once when I made contact with a vehicle that visitors had been reporting as graffiti on Delicate Arch. After I ran the driver, the Dispatcher called a code to me indicating 'trouble'. I was still talking to the offender so I told Dispatch to standby. The Dispatch knowing the seriousness of the offender said 'I need any available unit to start towards Arches." The responding officers were National Park Service officers, Bureau Land Management officer, and a sheriff deputy.
When one works in a rural location, everyone backs up everyone else. Why am I writing all this? On Saturday morning I opened my browser to read: Park Ranger shot in Utah. Utah is a large state with 7 National Park units so the chance of me knowing the individual seemed unlikely. However, with park rangers, we are a very small family. You always know someone or at least a friend knows the individual. Anyway, the park ranger shot on Friday at 9pm worked in Moab. The shooting was too close to home.
I read further into the article and found out it was Brody Young. The name rang a familiar bell, but it wasn't until they posted his photo that it became even more personal than it already was. I had went on a river raft trip once and we met up with Brody during the trip. He made the dutch oven cake that night. (The title IT IS FAMILY is the link to an article, as you look at photos realize the boat is park service, Brody works for Utah State-primarily, we are family).
I check the website over and over in the hopes that they caught the suspect. I hope they catch the suspect without another shot fired because as I said we are family. The rangers I have worked with in the past are out there helping to track down the suspect. They are now in the line of fire, however; I know they did not hesitate when the call for help went out. Every officer working was heading Brody's way. That is how it works in our family. Besides the other park rangers in the area, 140 officers in total are searching for the suspect.
If Brody wasn't laying in a hospital, he would be out there as well. He was shot in the arm, leg, and stomach. The important thing is that he is alive and that even being shot he was able to make a radio call, talk to medics, and get out important information. He is in critical but stable condition.
I leave you with this comment that was posted on one of the articles...as you will notice this person did not know Brody, but read what he puts in the last line.
As a 30 year veteren former law enforcement officer my respect and admiration for these Rangers and rural Peace Officers is very deep and I am very proud of them. Doing a peace officers job with back up seconds away or even just a few minutes away is still extremely trying and risky. That they work alone and miles from help is more than those without experience in the field will ever know. My prayers are with my brother and his family. God holds a these men and women who serve so valiantly below the threshhold of most peoples awareness as very precious. My brother in arms and his family needs your prayers.
NOTE: A fund has been set up at any Wells Fargo branch in honor of Brody Young. He has a wife and several children. Please help out if you can!!!! Happy Holidays.