Moments, like Sunday when I heard the news that Mark had passed away, are the moments of regret in many ways. Not only will he be missed as a valuable police officer, a supervisor and SWAT team commander; he will also be missed as an “under-appreciated” mentor. If it was for Mark ability to push people toward their best, there are many people, police and civilian alike, that wouldn't be where they are today.
I first met Mark on the golf course as I was going through hire process with the police department back in 1997. He began helping then by giving me advice on what to expect. Once on the police department, he selected me to be transferred to the Bike Unit. At first, I was not interested in joining the SWAT team but his contagious enthusiasm brought me around. The whole time I worked for him he encouraged me to get all the education and training that I could. He said it was because he considered me his “protégé” and I had to make him look good.
I am now in a career that I love where I get to teach and work with firearms every day. If it weren't for Mark, I probably wouldn't be here today and that where the other regrets comes in. I never got to thank him for what he did for me and the direction he led me in life. A moment like this made me realize what a difference he made in my life. I also realize that I am just one person that he knew so I am sure there are many more people out there that feel the same way.