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COP TALES: God bless them

Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the first person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.

God bless them

This week, our community lost a brave deputy who sacrificed his safety to protect others. He was a Marine who served in Afghanistan, then returned to the United States where he was shot and killed by a local murderer. One of his other SWAT members was also shot and is recovering.

As the news unraveled, everyone in the community was concerned and deeply hurt by the turn of events. The family lost a father, husband, son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend, the citizens lost a hero and protector, the law enforcement community lost a brother, and the sheriff lost a son. The sheriff has a lot of responsibilities, but no other task is harder to complete than to deal with the loss of one of his deputies.

Please pray for our lost deputy and his family, our injured deputy and his family and our sheriff and his department. God bless all who serve and protect us.

- BS

Watch out for that dog

I was a sergeant in the narcotics unit for a large agency about 20 years ago. Our unit would serve search warrants weekly. Serving drug search warrants was always considered high risk. You have no idea what is waiting for you on the other side of the door. Armed suspect? Booby traps? Children in the house? Vicious dogs?

One day, one of the detectives had a drug warrant to serve. During the briefing, prior to executing the search warrant, different detectives were assigned specific duties. One was assigned to do the "knock and notice" at the front door. One was assigned the sledge hammer to open the door if no one opened the door and forced entry was required. Others were assigned to watch the perimeter in case someone tried to flee via a window or back door.

On that particular search warrant, the primary detective said there was a large dog within the fenced front yard of the house. One detective was assigned to take a fire extinguisher to spray the dog in case it charged us. We arrived at the house and swiftly executed the search warrant. It turned out the large dog in the front yard was actually a small calf, which ran away when we entered the yard. Drugs were seized, and the drug dealer went to jail. Needless to say, the primary detective took a lot of ribbing from us for mistaking the calf for a large dog.

- BR

It’s for what?

When I was a young dispatcher at the Sheriff’s Department, a sergeant obtained some boxing gear to use to train local teens. One day, several teenagers, boys and girls, were brought into his office for some reason. As they waited, a girl saw the gear, picked up some of it, and then grabbed a men's cup, which she apparently thought was a mask. She put it on her face until one of the boys whispered in her ear. She threw it down and hid her face for the rest of the day.

- BD

Brian Smith served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and retired as an assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield. If you have a personal “Cop Tale” to share, please contact Smith at