It has been mentioned in this column before that we are all family. Partners and co-workers at your unit, your bureau and your department are family members. These past few months have been difficult and complicated in many ways for the law enforcement family nationwide, for obvious reasons. And here at home, security officers and security assistants are mourning the recent losses of two of our own. It seems unreal and unnatural to lose partners who still had many years of their careers ahead of them — who never got to experience retirement and reinvest in time with loved ones.
The LASD family was shocked and heartbroken to learn of the tragic passing of Security Officer Lino Flores on June 15. The 48-year-old PPOA member had served the Department since 2014 and was assigned to the Hall of Administration. He is deeply missed by his friends and co-workers with County Services Bureau. As you can see from the photos, Officer Flores was widely known and admired for his infectious smile. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult period.
Last month, I had the honor of visiting the widow of fallen Security Officer Anthony Hopkins (EOW May 18, 2020) along with PPOA Executive Director Wayne Quint Jr., Chief Haselrig, Captain Miranda and Deputy Kozelchik (group photo below). We were proud to help support the Hopkins family by delivering a check from PPOA’s Star & Shield Foundation while learning more about the faith and legacy of her late husband. Please read the heartfelt message from Mrs. Hopkins below for a better understanding of what Anthony meant to her and his work family.
Being that the work of the Star & Shield Foundation normally happens behind the scenes, I want to shed light on its significance to the law enforcement family. This Foundation was established by PPOA members in 2001 in order to “take care of our own.” Over the last two decades, it has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support families of the fallen and worthy causes. Funding for the Foundation comes from fundraising events (e.g., the PPOA Peace Officer Memorial Golf Tournament), corporate sponsorship and the generosity of law enforcement supporters and PPOA members who make it a point to contribute to the cause. For more information and/or to offer support by making a contribution, please visit StarandShield.org.
Lastly, please remember that we are all in this together. Between COVID-19, civil unrest and the passing of co-workers, there is so much to deal with in life. If your stress starts to feel overwhelming, please know that we have support in place to help alleviate that pressure. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Support Services to speak confidentially with someone who is trained to help.
Heartfelt Letter From Widow of Fallen Security Assistant
I was asked to write an article in memory of my husband, Anthony Eugene Hopkins. I refer to him as “my ribbon in the sky.”
One of the best and my favorite descriptions of Anthony came from a friend/manager at his part-time job: “What a classy, positive, great man he was … he was kind and also a warrior … he always had my back at work.”
Anthony and I had so many deep talks about so many things in our lives, but I know now that him working at Pasadena Court was part of our Lord’s plan. Anthony knew that the Lord had placed him exactly where he wanted him, to encourage others, especially on Mondays! I remember him telling me as employees would report to work on Mondays they were mopey and dragging, but they would ask Anthony how his day was going and he would always respond in his loud, deep voice, “Amazing!”
By Friday, as all those same employees were leaving for the weekend, they were happy, full of energy and looking forward to the weekend. But Anthony said he was the one drained and exhausted. It’s funny how this worked. You see, Anthony had realized that he was there at Pasadena Court to provide God’s word to staff and co-workers, uplifting them with that amazing positive encouragement and energy that they needed all week. Then, come Monday, the cycle started all over again!
Anthony loved the Lord and taught me so many life lessons: to put God first, let go of the past, forgive others and count everything as joy.
Thank goodness I have countless videos and wonderful memories of this amazing man who I’m proud to call my husband. I will miss him dearly!
I would like to thank all of you for loving him and allowing him to uplift you.
I challenge all who knew him to “pay it forward.” Please continue to show others his love of the Lord and share his positive energy that he shared with you, because Lord knows it’s needed in this world today.
— Betty Hopkins