Harry Penny and I
worked together as Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Deputies 1963 -1967. Although we lost track of each other many,
many years ago, we “found” each other again in August 1996, 29 years later. Harry
and I then worked together as Special Deputy US Marshals, Court Security
Officers, at the Federal Courthouse in
I don’t know why, but
I had the coveted
privilege of being sworn in as a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff on
Harry transferred to Firestone Park Station (FPK) just before me – and just in time for the ’65 riot. I was sent to FPK during the riot and then permanently transferred to FPK just after the riot.
After I reported to FPK and was released from training, I worked with numerous radio car partners, one of whom was Harry. Harry and I immediately formed that unexplainable bond that men in law enforcement subconsciously understand and their women have absolutely no understanding of what that bond is all about.
Harry transferred to
I left the Department in 1972 and bought a 125 seat restaurant & cocktail lounge. Big Mistake! I lost $34,000 in 14 months. In hindsight, I should have gone back on the Department but instead I went on to what I thought were “bigger & better” things. Another Big Mistake!
Years later, August
1996, I was working as a uniformed security officer for FPS (Federal Protective
Service), assigned to the PM shift at the
Harry’s head jerked around and we met again – eye to eye – after nearly 30 years! I got tears in my eyes and the years just melted away. It was as if we had just climbed out of a radio car together at the end of shift last night. He later told me that he knew that whoever yelled “918 Victor” had to be a Firestone deputy. You see, Firestone Deputies have that special bond with each other – no matter if they worked a radio car together or not – that will never die, even if they do.
Our individual order of priority with any partner we worked with was: “It’s my ass first, your ass second and the department’s ass third.” And, “I expect you to have the same priorities.” “I ain’t gonna give up my gun for you and I don’t expect you to give up your gun for me.” “But if I call you by MY first name, you had better start shooting because I will be.”
We didn’t have just one partner that we could and would relate to, we had many. But with all the situations you and your partner(s) go through together, a very few of your close partners always stay in your mind for your entire life.
All of us had one common goal: Get your partner, any partner, home safely to his wife and kids at the end of the shift - today, tomorrow, next week, next month, forever.
FPK 1966 – 1972