Names

Blake Snyder Collage

This post is copied from it’s original site at corleyfoto.wordpress.com where I participate in a weekly photo challenge. The photo of this week’s challenge was Names.

Names. Those etched in stone, those etched in our hearts. One name of many: Blake Snyder. Husband, father, son, brother, officer, friend.

The year 2016 saw a 56 percent increase in law enforcement gun deaths from 36 deaths in 2015 to 64 deaths in 2016. Each and every one of those officers, along with 76 other officers who lost their lives in 2016 while performing their duties, are memorialized on the Officer Down Memorial page as well as in the hearts and minds of those of us in the “blue” community. Whether we are active law enforcement, retired law enforcement, or the parent, spouse, child or friend of someone in law enforcement, the impact of these deaths are crushingly the same.

Metropolitan St. Louis had to face this tragedy when St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder was shot and killed in the line of duty on Thursday, October 6, 2016. Metropolitan St. Louis had endured other officer involved tragedies in 2016 with one officer shot and paralyzed and another officer partially paralyzed in a traffic crash, but the shooting death of Officer Snyder drove home the fear that lurks just beyond the surface for those of us in the “thin blue line”.

By all accounts, Officer Snyder was the epitome of what a law enforcement officer should be. He was a husband to a woman he adored and a father to a two year old son who was the light of his life. He was active in his church and spent many hours coaching soccer, a game he loved and played for many years. Quotes from different sites describe Officer Snyder as “faithful, reliable, and a man of great character (Pastor Stern, Destiny Church)” , “…always happy when he was helping or serving others (Wesley Strowmatt, lifelong friend)”, “highly talented and creative graphic artist…an individual who gets the job done right the first time…responsible person…committed to task on hand (Linkedin)”. Officer Snyder came to law enforcement at the relatively late age of 28 after graduating from Rank Jordan Technical College. He met his wife through his church where he was employed in graphic design and her father had been a St. Louis County police officer prior to his death from cancer. Her brother is also a member of the St. Louis County Police Department.

Blake Snyder was the type of man we all want our sons to be like. We want our daughters to marry a man like him and we want our fellow police officers, those who have our “Six” to be like him too. The name Blake Snyder won’t soon be forgotten.

So, what’s in a name? Here are 140 names, lost in the line of duty in 2016.

Cpl. Harvey Snook, III, Arlington Co. VA;
PO Thomas W. Cottrell, Jr. Danville PD, OH;
PO Douglas S. Barney, III, Unified PD of Greater Salt Lake, UT;
Corr. Officer Adam Conrad, Marion Co SO, IL;
SA Scott McGuire, US Dept Homeland Security;
Sgt. Jason Goodding, Seaside PD, OR;
Dep. Derek Geer, Mesa Co SO, CO;
Dep. Scott Ballantyne, Tulare Co SO, CA;
Sr. Dept. Mark F. Logsdon, Harford Co SO, MD;
Sr. Dep. Patrick B. Daily, Harford Co SO, MD;
Maj. Gregory E. Barney, Riverdale PD, GA;
PO Jason Moszer, Fargo PD, ND;
SA Lee Tartt, Miss. Dpt. Public Safety, MS;
Cp. Nate Carrigan, Park Co. SO, CO;
Off. Ashley Guindon, Prince William Co, PD, VA;
Dep. Travis Russell, Las Animas Co SO, CO;
Off. David Hofer, Euless PD, TX;
Off.Scot Fitzgerald, South Jasksonville PD, IL;
Trooper Sean E. Cullen NJ State Police NJ;
Dep. John Robert Kotfila, Jr., Hillsboroough Co SO, FL;
Off. Nathan Taylor, California Highway Patrol;
Officer Jacai D. Colson, Prince George’s Co PD, MD;
Off. David Ortiz, El Paso PD, TX;
Sgt. Joseph G. Portaro WV State Police, WV;
Trooper Thomas L. Clardy, Mass. State Police;
Officer Allen Lee Jacobs, Greenville PD, SC;
Dep. Carl A. Koontz, Howard Co SO, IN;
Off. Susan Farrell, Des Moines PD;
Off. Carlos Puente-Morales, Des Moines PD;
Trooper Jeffrey Nichols, Texas Dept. Pub Safety;
Trooper Chad Phillip Dermyer, Virginia State PD;
Off. Steve M. Smith, Columbus Div of Police, OH;
Border Patrol Agent Jose Daniel Barraza, Homeland Security, Border Patrol;
Sgt. Jorge Ramos, FL Dept of Corrections;
Inv. Anthony “TJ” Freeman, Bibb Co SP, GA;
Det. Brad D. Lancaster, KCPD, KS;
Off. David Van Glasser, Phoenix, PD;
Off. Ean R. Johnson, Hilliard Div of Police, OH;
Off. Ronald Tarentino Jr, Auburn PD, MA;
Dep. Michael A. Winter, Branch Co SO. MI;
Sgt. Derrick Mingo, Winnsboro PD, LA;
Sgt. Verdell Smith, Sr., Memphis PD;
Off. Narasha Hunter New Orleans PD;
Deportation Off. Brian Beliso, Homeland Security;
Officer Endy Niddiobong Ekpanya, Pearland PD, TX;
Off. Michael J. Katherman, San Jose PD;
Off. Zachary Larnerd, Gainesboro PD, TN;
Sgt. Stacey A. Baumgarner, Patton Village PD,TX;
Dep. David F. Michel, Jr., Jefferson Parish SO, LA;
Dep. Martin Tase Sturgill, II, Humphreys CoSO. TN;
Sgt. David Elahi, Sterlington PD, LA;
Dep. Paul Clark, St. Francois Co SO, MO;
Off. Calvin “Mark” McCullers, Southern Methodist Univ. PD, TX;
Off. Michael Leslie Krol, Dallas;
Sgt. Michael Joseph Smith, Dallas;
Off. Patricio E. Zamarripa, Dallas;
Off. Brent A. Thompson, Dallas;
Sr. Cpl. Lorne B. Ahrens, Dallas;
Off. Michael J. Ventura, Salem PD, WI;
Security Supervisor Joseph P. Zangaro, Berrien Co SO, MI;
Ct. Off. Ronald Eugne Kienzle, Berrien Co SSO, MI;
Off. Marco Antonio Zarate, Bellaire PD, TX;
Corr. Off Mari Johnson, Texas Dept. Crim Justice;
Cpl. Montrell Lyle Jackson, Baton Rouge;
Dep. Bradford Allen Garafola, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Dept.;
Off. Matthew Lane Gerald, Baton Rouge PD;
Corr. Off. Kristopher D. Moules, Luzerne Co. Ciorr. Facility, PA;
Capt. Robert D. Melton, Knasas City PD, KS;
Off. Jonathan M. DeGuzman, San Diego PD;
Sgt. Shawn Miller, West Des Moines PD;
Off. Justin Schrlen, Amarillo PD;
SA De’Greaun Frazier, Tenn. Bureau of Inv.;
Cpl. Bill Cooper, Sebastian Co SO, AR
Border Patrol Agent Manuel Alvarez, Dept. Homeland Security;
Off. Jose Ismael Chavez, Hatch PD, NM;
Off. Timothy K. Smith, Eastman PD, GA;
Off. Shannon Brown, Fenton PD, LA;
Off. Kenneth R. Moats, Maryville PD, TN;
Sr. Officer LeAndr Frank, Navajo Div Pub Safety, TR;
Off. Clint Corvinus, Alamogordo PD, NM;
Sr. Off. Amir Abdul-Khaliz, Austin PD;
Lt. Waldemar Rivera-Santiago, Puerto Rico PD;
Dep. Kenneth H. Maltby, Eastland Co. SO, TX;
Master Dep. Bandon Collins Johnson Co SO, KS;
K9 Officer Timothy J. Brackeen, Shelby PD, NC;
Off. Robert A. Barker, McCrory PD, AR;
Off. Jason Gallero, Cook Co. Sheriff PD, IL;
Trooper Kenneth V. Velez, Ohio State PD;
Corr. Off. Kenneth Bettis, Alabama Dept. of Corrections;
Sgt. Kenneth Steil, Detroit;
Sgt. Kerry Winters, Ulster County SO, NY;
Agt. Edwin Pabon-Robles, Puerto Rico PD;
Corr. Officer, David M. Weaver, Pennsylvania Dept of Corr.;
Dept. John Thomas Isenhour, Forsyth Co SO, NC;
Cpl. Robert E. Ransom, Gregg County SO, TX;
Sgt. Steve Owen, LA CO Sheriff Dept.;
Inv. Paul R. Steuwer, NY State Police;
Agt. Victor Rosado-Rosa, Puerto Rico PD;
Off. Blake Snyder, St. Louis Co PD;
Off. Lesley Zerebny, Palm Springs PD, CA;
Off. Jose Giolbert Vega, Palm Springs PD, CA;
Sgt. Luis A. Melendez-Maldonado, Puerto Rico PD;
Off. Aaron J. Christian, Chesapeake PD, OH;
Dep. Jack Hopkins, Modoc Co SO. CA;
Sgt. Alfonso Lopez, LA Co Sheriff;
Trooper Timothy P. Pratt, NY State Police;
Sgt. Allen Brandt, Fairbanks PD;
Off. James Brockmeyer, Chester Police Dept. IL;
Off. Myron Jarrett, Detroit PD;
Dep. Dan Glaze, Rusk Co. SO, WI;
Sgt. Rod Lucas, Fresno Co SO. CA;
Dep. Scott Williams, Taylor Co SO, FL;
Off. Jorge Sanchez, Miami PD;
Off. Justin Scott Martin, Urbandale, PD, IA;
Sgt. Anthony David Beminio, Des Moines PD;
Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, NYPD;
Sgt. Patrick M. Sondron, Peach County SO, GA;
Off. Cody Brotherson, West Valley City PD, UT;
Off. Darrin Reed, Show Low PD, AZ;
Dep. Daryl Smallwood, Peach County SO, GA;
Off. Jude Williams Lewis, New Orleans PD;
Off. Scott Leslie Bashioum, Canonsburg Borough PD, PA;
Dep. Dennis Wallace, Stanislaus Co SO, CA;
Dep. Justin White, Newton Co SO, GA;
Border Patrol Agnt David Gomez, Dept. Homeland Security;
Asst. Commander Kenneth J. Starrs, South Texas Specialized Crimes Task Force;
Dep. Commander Patrick T. Carothers, US Dept of Justice, Marshals Service;
Det. Benjamin E. Marconi, San Antonio PD;
Dep. Eric J. Oliver, Nassau Co SO, FL;
Trooper Eric Dale Ellsworth, Utah Highway Patrol;
Sgt. Collin James Rose, Wayne State Uni. PD, MI;
Trooper Cody James Donahue, Colorado State Patrol;
Off. Reginald Jacob “Jak” Gutierrez, Tacoma PD;
Trooper Frankie Lamar Williams, New Jersey State police;
Dep. Ryan Thomas, Valencia Co SO, NM;
Off. Nicholas Ryan Smarr, Americus PD, GA;
Off. Jody Carl Smith, Georgia Southwestern State University, GA;
Corr. Officr Lisa Mauldin, Miller Co SO, AR;
Lt. William G. Faron, NJ State Police;
Trooper Landon E. Weaver, Pennysylvania State Police

Please keep the families and friends of these fallen heroes in your thoughts and prayers.

Benefit for Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor

Benefit for Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor
Once again the St. Louis Metropolitan police community has been devastated by another life threatening injury to one of its own. Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor was seriously injured while responding to an emergency call.

“According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s preliminary investigation, the police vehicle was westbound on Dunn Road with emergency lights and siren activated. A driver of a second vehicle who was traveling eastbound attempted to make a left turn into the Village Square Shopping Center and struck the police vehicle on the driver’s side, said Sgt. Al Nothum of the Missouri Highway Patrol. The police vehicle then traveled off the right side of the roadway, struck an embankment and overturned.”

The community has rallied to support Officer Tudor and a benefit was recently held at Red Redbirds Sports Bar and Grill and attended by members of the Blue Knights MO III.
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Officer Michael Flamion–Living Our Nightmare

Officer Michael FlamionBallwin, Missouri, named as “One of America’s Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine in 2005, 2011 and 2013, is a dynamic community of 30,404 (2010 census) located in the heart of prestigious West St. Louis County. It touts  a low crime rate due to highly trained Police Department which provides the full range of police protection, investigation and community services. (From ballwin.mo.us)

On July 8, a sunny Friday morning, Officer Mike Flamion stopped a car for speeding on a residential street. As Officer Flamion had most probably done hundreds of times in his career, he approached the car and spoke to the driver. As he was returning to his patrol vehicle, the driver, later identified as Antonio Taylor of St. Louis, exited his vehicle and approached Officer Flamion from the rear and shot at him three times, one bullet striking Officer Flamion in the neck.

Officer Flamion immediately fell to the ground critically wounded. The next several days were touch and go as to whether Officer Flamion would live or die from his injuries. Officer Flamion has survived his wounds but has sustained life-altering injuries, paralyzed from the neck down.  Officer Flamion is currently breathing through a tracheotomy tube in his neck but is now able to drink liquids and eat soft foods. The coming days, months and years will be extremely hard on Officer Flamion and his family and as one of his friends so succinctly put it, Officer Flamion is “living our nightmare”. He and his family will continue to need our thoughts, prayers and financial support.

The Ballwin community has shown its continuing support for Officer Flamion by hosting several different fund raisers and currently a GoFundMe account https://www.gofundme.com/2dj4rtnt, has raised $324,000 of the $345,000 goal.

Unbeknownst to Officer Flamion, his attacker was no stranger to the judicial system.  Antonio Taylor, 31, of St. Louis had been arrested and convicted several times.

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on July 27, Taylor’s criminal history in Missouri includes  a “2011 conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. In those cases, he was given a two-year prison sentence.

He served prison time in Oklahoma for robbery from November 2006 to January 2009. After getting out of prison, court records say Taylor was stopped by officers in Beckham County, Okla., in July 2009 for faulty headlights and was found with a loaded .22-caliber rifle lying on the floor of the car. The rifle had been reported stolen out of St. Louis. Taylor was later sentenced to federal prison for 30 months for a conviction of being a felon in possession of a gun. He was released last year.”

Taylor is currently being held on charges of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a weapon with a $1,000,000 bond. So why did Taylor think he needed to shoot Officer Flamion? At this time, no motive has been publicized. Did he have active warrants for his arrest and didn’t want to go back to prison, or did he just want to kill a cop? So far, we don’t know, but what we do know is that Officer Flamion, his wife and family’s lives are changed forever and he is now “living our nightmare.”

For more information concerning upcoming events to support Officer Flamion and the Ballwin Police Department, click here.

UPDATE: Officer Flamion has now been transported to a rehabilitation center in Colorado for further treatment.