AOCDS President Tom Dominguez sent the following letter of support to the presidents of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association and the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association on December 5, 2015.
President Laren Leichliter
San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association
735 E. Carnegie Dr., Ste. 125
San Bernardino, CA 92408
President Steve Turner
San Bernardino Police Officers Association
P.O. Box 2967
San Bernardino, CA 92406
Laren and Steve,
On behalf of the 2,800 active and retired deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, I am writing to express our support and appreciation to the men and women of your associations who demonstrated to the world during Wednesday’s mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center how exceptional law enforcement officers carry out their mission of protecting the community.
While the innocent victims heal their broken bodies and the families of those who were ripped from their lives far too soon try to pick up the pieces of now shattered lives, they will remember those brave souls who rushed toward the gunfire.
They will remember the men and women in uniform who coaxed the traumatized out from behind desks and out of bathrooms barricaded against bullets. They will remember the comforting words whispered by men with rifles shepherding the innocents and the frightened to safety. And they will remember the warriors who heartbrokenly rushed past the wounded to hunt the murderers in a desperate attempt to prevent more innocents from being harmed.
Their physical and emotional scars may fade, but they will never disappear entirely. Neither will the memories of those rushing to save them.
The actions of your members that day were nothing short of exceptional. The community they serve needed help in the most urgent way and they answered the call. The world watched this massacre unfold and in doing so they watched your men and women do their jobs in a way that fulfilled every law enforcement pledge and promise made to protect and serve.
Your men and women who were there that day have been marred by the invisible scars of this tragedy and the unbelievable heartbreak and pain it has brought to those who have been forced to endure it. That will never go away.
But their work is far from over. The chaos must be unraveled to unearth what could have motivated newlyweds and new parents to extinguish the lives of so many. Questions must be answered. Explanations must be given.
As San Bernardino reels from a tragedy no community should ever have to experience, the everyday persists. Homes are burglarized. Cars are stolen. Drivers crash into each other.
The residents of San Bernardino can be comforted that their law enforcement officers will be there protecting them, answering the call for help.
Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs