I will never forget this day.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
I can still see it.
I can still smell it.
I remember what clothes I was wearing.
I remember what officers I came in contact with during this situation.
I remember the faces of the citizens that helped out.
I remember not sleeping for 3 days after.
I remember everyone that called to check on me.
I remember the blood stained concrete.
I remember seeing law enforcement from the entire state.
I remember everyone trying to figure out who passed and who was fighting to survive.
I remember my academy classmates checking on me.
I remember my roofer randomly called to check on me.
I remember the heroic actions taken by my coworkers to save lives.
I remembered how deserted downtown was during that time.
I remembered staying clear of the windows and how loud it was when “the decision” was made.
I remembered how angry people were when they were brought to headquarters as we tried to figure out what was going on.
I remembered smelling a lot of coffee.
I remembered my mom praying for me before I left.
I remembered my typically calm father calling me repeatedly after I asked him not to because he needed to know I was ok.
I remembered going right back to work because crime never stops.
I remembered how emotionally draining funeral week was to everyone.
I remembered being sad for the immediate family members that received the phone call that none of them wanted to receive.
I remember only watching cartoons for the entire week after it happened.
I remember how thankful my parents were when I called them and told them I made it home.
I remember feeling guilty because some parents didn’t get that call.
Chelsea Whitaker is a Dallas Area Police Officer and member of the 2005 Baylor Bear Basketball Team that won the National Championship. Her desire is to give others #perspective in order to #bridgethegap. She is a frequent contributor to Law Officer.