“For those of you who serve now, or who have served, I ask you not to become discouraged by the negative news media, but to stand tall, stand proud of who you are.”
These comments are among those by Lt. Steven O’Dell, first in a series of short videos submitted to the DC Police Memorial by retired officers and other key people tied to the DC Metropolitan Police Department. Lt. O’Dell talks about his experience on the force and the seven colleagues who died in the line of duty in the first two years he became an officer in February of 1971.
A 34 year veteran of the force, he also makes an impassioned plea to those serving and who have served to “show your support to the DC Police Memorial fund.”
Please take a moment to listen to his important call to action:
Lt. Steven O’Dell –
“Hello. My name is Steven O”Dell. I served in the Metropolitan Police Department, starting in the summer of 1970 as a cadet, a police officer in February 1971 at 20 years old, up through the beginning of 2004.
I’m here today to talk to you about the DC Police Memorial fund. In my first two years on this department, we lost seven – that’s right seven – police officers in the line of duty. Since then we’ve lost many more. Two of these deaths hit me personally. One of them was my partner, Kevin Welsh, in ERT (Emergency Response Team). We were on a rescue mission and Kevin lost his life. The other was a young officer who, during a robbery, was killed. His name was Oliver Smith – a fine young man full of enthusiasm and his life was cut short.
For those of you who serve now, or who have served, I ask you not to become discouraged by the negative news media, but to stand tall, stand proud of who you are. I say this from the bottom of my heart because we need to show that we are unified and that we matter. It all matters. The officers, the families of the lost ones and those still serve or who have served, we all matter.
So please show that with your support to the DC Police Memorial fund. Give something, even a few bucks. Try to give something in honor of who you are – you, they were. And, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who are still serving and who have served. I am forever indebted to you for all you have given. Be proud. Stand tall. Never let them discourage you. Keep your enthusiasm. Please give. God Bless You.”