Our Blue Family’s Loss
It is with great sorrow we recognize the loss of Louisville Metro Police Officer Nick Rodman, who died in the line of duty March 29. Rodman’s loss was Kentucky’s first line of duty death in 2017, and we continually pray it is the last.
Nick entered the LMPD training academy in February 2013, following the footsteps of his father, George, and his brother, Andy. He faithfully served the first division with honor and commitment.
In our profession, service is 99 percent of what we do. Nick understood this. At his funeral, we heard examples of how he went the extra mile to help others. Nick died protecting our commonwealth – the other 1 percent of what we do in law enforcement and the most important. I was moved by Nick’s father who said recently he knew his son died doing what he loved.
Loving husband to Ashley and devoted father to Mason and Ellie, those who knew Nick best will remember him as an ardent and faithful family man. Nick was a success by all measures, and the commonwealth mourns this hero. We express our condolences to his family for their sacrifice to this great state.
As we move forward in sorrow, I ask that we all rededicate our efforts to keep the names of our blue family off the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial monument wall, and dedicate ourselves to the same professionalism that defined Nick.
At a recent DOCJT Basic Training Academy graduation, I noticed a baby wearing a shirt that said, “I have your 6, Dad.” This inspired us to refocus on the six critical areas that will increase officer safety. With that in mind, DOCJT is developing a campaign called Check Your 6.
This campaign is designed around the concept that of all responsibilities officers have to keep in mind each day on the job, the most important is to take care of themselves. There are daily tragedies that are impossible to predict by even the most seasoned officers. But it is our hope that each day, everyone who puts on a uniform will consider the importance of the following six factors.
It is uncomfortable. It is hot. But it also could keep the bad guy from winning when shots are fired. Wear your vest every day for your family, your partner and yourself!
Seat belts can be bothersome when you involve a duty belt and are trying to exit your cruiser quickly. But a small amount of trouble is outweighed by learning quick tactics to exit easily.
Speed often is a contributor to fatal law enforcement accidents. Be mindful of the speedometer and remember you can’t help anyone if you don’t get to them safely.
Situational awareness is critical to safety. Always be aware of your surroundings, and have a tactical plan. When engaged with a suspect, remember distance and cover are critical to your safety.
Maintain your physical fitness, and be mindful of what you put into your body. Mental fitness is equally as important. Stay sharp, and when you need help, ask.
Treat everyone with respect. You will encounter plenty of people who don’t deserve it. Respect them anyway. It is about who you are, not them. Respect is the foundation of our profession.