I first “met” Officer Brian Lee, from The Colony Police Department over the phone. We spoke about a current project LAW was working with them, and he was warm and welcoming with feedback and information. His kind spirit stuck with me, and not long after our conversation, COVID made its way to Texas and everything was being shut down.
As a mom to an energetic three-year-old (at that time), I was trying to find anything and everything to keep him occupied during the day. Schools were closed, and being at home (as we all know) can become quite stressful.
I reached out to Officer Lee because I lived in The Colony where he worked. I went out on a limb and asked him if I could bring my son to the station to meet some officers (he loves them), and Brian and his co-worker, Officer De La Cruz, went over and beyond. Not only did my son get to meet them, but Officer Lee suggested they come to my area to make it easier on us. They allowed him to see the inside of their car, turned on their lights, and gave him cool stickers, and gadgets. Let’s just say my son was over the moon.
Actions like those of Brian Lee aren’t in the exact job description. His choice to come to meet my son was an action that was just simply kind. He didn’t know my son, but decided to make his day. Those seemingly simple decisions create change, and are the highlight in so many young lives.
During that trying time within COVID and the “defund the police” movement, Officer Lee and his co-workers at The Colony Police Department began working towards more community engagement. They recognized the issues at large, and really wanted to show how much they cared about the people in their city. They surprised kids at birthday parties, showed up for special events, and did whatever they could to showcase their support and commitment to the people. They did this so much that they gained recognition from the national media.
Sadly, because of the negativity towards the police, they never were mentioned in the coverage. The amazing things they did were broadcast for all to see, and read about, but their names weren’t mentioned. I am extremely happy to write about these wonderful men and women, and if I can compare my son’s smile to the kids they showed up for, then I know those moments deserve a huge pat on the back. Those are the special details we never get to read about, when they do indeed happen quite frequently.
“Wanted to be in a Uniform”
Officer Lee, from Abilene, Texas, has always had a passion to help people. He decided at a young age that he knew he wanted to do something in law enforcement. His step-father was a police officer and he knew that was something he could see himself doing. At that time, however, he didn’t have much experience. He hadn’t gone to college yet, and was still pretty fresh to the scene. Well, as we all know, life has a way of paving the way if it’s meant to be, and while watching TV a Coast Guard commercial came on. He made the decision to join, and from that moment on there was no turning back.
Officer Brian Lee was not only EMT trained, but he was an excellent addition to the boat crew and rescue team in the Coast Guard. I asked him if there were any moments that stood out to him, and he humbly admitted that during his time he had saved probably 100 lives. One in particular stood out to him.
There was a sailor on a commercial ship off the coast of Galveston, and while he was working, a steel shackle fell from a crane and hit him on the head causing a serious injury. A torrential rain was falling, and it was almost impossible to get up against the ship he was on with our 41 Ft Rescue Boat. It was becoming a raging storm, and it was completely blinding us! We were waiting for a helicopter to help us but they could not fly due to all of the rain. At that moment, I knew I had to make a decision. I knew time was running short and this man needed our help. I had to figure out how to get to him, or I knew the man would not make it... I silently prayed to myself so my crew would not know I was worried. I figured out a way to get close, and turned the helm hard to force my bow hard against the ship causing damage to my boat. We were then able to load the injured sailor on our boat. We had to do CPR on the sailor during the 30 minute ride to the harbor. The man was transported to an awaiting ambulance, and then transported to the hospital. We visited him later in the hospital, I will never forget that moment, or his face, and he thanked us. I was terrified and worried for my boat and crew, and yet we made it happen. That is what we have to do because people depend on us. We are sometimes their last hope...”
After 20 dedicated years, Officer Lee was ready for the next chapter. He had met his lovely wife, and began a family. Let’s just say this man is super proud of his daughters. His face absolutely lit up when telling me about them. One a successful dance teacher, and the other a supremely talented musical-theater protégé, they don’t seem to have fallen far from the tree. Balancing work, life, marriage, and fatherhood Officer Lee was making waves that would set his future in stone. He decided to pursue recruiting for the Coast Guard, because he knew what a benefit it would make in others' lives. He successfully worked in that area for another six years before retiring. Officer Lee was by no means done yet, and was ready to see what else was out there.
“I was ready to try new things. I now had experience under my belt and even though I was done with the Coast Guard, I still wanted to be in a uniform. It’s a huge part of me, and when you love something you keep on. I wasn’t ready to let go.”
“We all Step Up”
After some time, and crazy/funny experiences working as a police officer at a college, he decided to apply at The Colony Police. He got hired on and raved to me about the culture and morale in the department.
“I’ve worked at a lot of places, and I’ve done a lot of different jobs. But, working for The Colony Police is the absolute best. We have a great team, a great Chief who takes care of us, and a City Council that does the same. We all step up, and have the support we need to be the best officers we can be. I can’t say enough how great it is to be a part of it.”
As a community resource officer, he gets to spend time with people, helping others, and doing what he does best–being of service to anyone in need. I can personally say he showed up for me when I was highly stressed, and running out of ideas to entertain my son. That was a lasting impression and highlighted his true colors. He is an Officer that cares about his community, and it shows.
I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with him and hearing his story. Ironically, the first thing he said to me as I sat down was that he searched for another person I could speak to. Someone that was better, or more interesting than him.
Rest assured Officer Lee, that you are worthy to be written about, and it was an honor to hear your journey.
Your dedication to service, and your passion behind the badge are exemplary.