The Day That Changed My Life


I have been a police officer for nearly 19 years.  During that span of time, I have experienced certain incidents I will never forget.  On one such occasion, during the summer of 2004 my life changed forever.  You see prior to this day, I believed that I was invincible.  In my braggadocious opinion, I was a superhero legend:  great looking, in good shape, fearless, intelligent, ambitious, well spoken, and a “RoboCop”.  Being a superstar in my own mind required me to make the big arrests that always made the headlines.  I would always take unnecessary risks just for the “thrill of the chase” and the accolades that came thereafter.  As I climbed the career ladder of success as a police officer, my relationships with my family and God became less of a priority.  My thirst for adrenaline and temporary fame was my primary goal that, although initially exhilarating, left me with an emptiness inside.  I surmised that I was only as good as my last arrest which propelled me to become more aggressive and reckless in my pursuit for notoriety and perceived success.  I became lost in a relentless daze of my own madness.  During this time, I worked hard (10-16 hours/6-7 days a week) and played even harder.  I had a lust for adrenaline and excitement on and off duty that catapulted me into a lifestyle of alcoholism, violence, and consequently adultery.  Eventually my craziness came to a screeching halt on “The day that changed my life”.  Let me explain in cop jargon:  

On September 15, 2004, my fellow detectives and I responded to the Woodlands Apartment Complex in North Chicago for the report of an odor of cannabis emanating from a residence.  Just a little weed case right?  WRONG!  My cohorts and I began knocking on the door of the apartment in question (Anyone over 40 remember Cheech and Chong movies?).  Subsequently, a young black male, about 22 years old, came to the door and said “ain’t nobody smoking weed here”!  Now I’m no rocket scientist or cannabis expert but the large puff of smoke when the door opened was A CLUE!  At this point, I told the suspicious guy who answered the door that he was not free to leave until I obtained a search warrant for his apartment.  Upon hearing my plan, the suspicious weed smoking dude attempted to run back into the apartment.  For the purposes of not allowing this guy to destroy evidence or escape, my partner (Detective King) and I wedged the door with our hands and eventually forced our way inside.  We then tackled the guy who previously answered the door and placed him in handcuffs.  We were then confronted by another guy that approached us from a bedroom.  Things got weird and because of the obvious uncertainty of the situation we secured this guy in handcuffs as well.  Our assisting detectives (Wilson and Brown) alerted us to finding nearly a kilo of cocaine outside of the apartment window.  At this juncture, one of the handcuffed suspects began smashing his head into a wall.  For the sake of avoiding a use of force complaint, I immediately grabbed this guy with my right arm.  While attempting to calm the crazed guy down, in close proximity, he removed my gun from the holster.  I immediately yelled “he got my gun” !  At this time the frenzied, cannabis smoking dude began firing my weapon from behind his back in handcuffs!  One gunshot, two gunshots, three gunshots!  Yikes!  My partner and I then slammed this guy onto the ground (on his back) while he continued firing the gun.  I didn’t have a backup gun so I couldn’t shoot this dude.  I did the next best thing to save me and my partners life: I began punching the offender in the face.  More shots rang out when, at which time, the gunshots eventually stopped.  It became apparent that the offender shot himself in the calf.  The shots then stopped and Detective King retrieved my gun from behind the crazed dude’s back.  Whew!  My partner, the offender and I all survived.  Praise God!  What I realized and learned after this experience was that I used to be on top of the world but extremely far from God.  I still have my struggles from time to time, but now know that God is my source of joy, peace, and motivation.  He filled the void that was in my life and lifts my spirit despite my insecurities and failures.  Praise the name of Jesus!

Freddrick Andrew Diez