In the guestbook for fallen DPS officer Chris Marano, an anonymous fellow public safety worker posted this:
When the Lord was creating peace officers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And the Lord said, “Have you read the spec on this order? A peace officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn’t touch, and not wrinkle his uniform. He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day. He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands… no way.”
“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” said the Lord, “it’s the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. “One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, ‘May I see what’s in there, sir?’ (When he already knows and wishes he’d taken
that accounting job.) Another pair here in the side of his head for his partners’ safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, ‘You’ll be all right ma’am, when he knows it isn’t so.”
“Lord,” said the angel, touching his sleeve, “rest and work on this tomorrow.”
“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck.”
The angel circled the model of the peace officer very slowly, “Can it think?” she asked.
“You bet,” said the Lord. “It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop… and still it keeps its sense of humor. This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim’s family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn’t sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects.”
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the peace officer. “There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model.”
“That’s not a leak,” said the lord, “it’s a tear.”
“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.
“It’s for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice.”
“You’re a genius,” said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. “I didn’t put it there,” he said.
On Thursday, December 17, an Arizona DPS (Department of Public Safety) patrol officer spotted a silver Mercury SUV on the North/Westbound 101 with stolen plates. He tried to pull the driver over but she refused to stop. A chase ensued and another DPS officer was asked to lay down stop sticks to deflate the tires of the suspect vehicle. Officer Chris Marano, well ahead of the chase in the Westbound lanes, laid down the sticks as he saw the vehicles approaching. The suspect swerved to get around the sticks and nearly hit Marano; he jumped out of her way and directly into the path of a pursuing DPS vehicle. His fellow officer never had the chance to stop.
Despite the desperate efforts of firefighter paramedics to save him, Officer Marano was pronounced dead at John C. Lincoln Hospital minutes later. I had met him a couple of times, and though I didn’t know him well, he was a very nice guy and always the officer you knew would have things ready for you when you arrived on a call.
I will blog later about the flab of human debris who caused this tragedy. For now, keep his family–parents, a wife and four children–in your prayers. If you wish you can click here for information on how to help the family.