Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

Friday's Heroes - Remembering the fallen officers

The Graveyard Shift extends its condolences to the families of each of these brave police officers.

Sergeant Franco Aguila, 36

Sevier County Utah Sheriff’s Office

April 29, 2010 – Sergeant Franco Aquila was working an accident on a bridge when the driver of an SUV lost control and slid into the car that had been involved in the original crash. During the accident with the out-of-control SUV, Sergeant Aquila fell 250 feet to his death. It’s not clear if he’d been forced off the bridge, or had attempted to jump out of the way of the careening SUV. Sergeant Aquila leaves behind his wife, five children, three brothers, and his parents.

Boy Scouts place flags along the route of Sgt. Aquila’s funeral procession.

Constable John W. Brown, 63

Calhoun County Texas Constable’s Office – Precinct 5

April 10, 2010 – Constable John W. Brown suffered a heart attack while struggling with a criminal suspect. Efforts by fellow officers to revive Constable Brown were unsuccessful and he passed away after arriving at the hospital. He leaves behind his wife and brother. The Constable’s body was to be cremated and the ashed returned to the Philippines where he and his wife had first met.

Sergeant Joseph Bergeron, 49

Maplewood Minnesota Police Department

May 1, 2010 – Sergeant Burgeron was shot and killed while attempting to question two men about a carjacking. The men opened fire as the sergeant approached them. A passerby used the sergeant’s radio to summon assistance. Several hours later Officer David Longbehn observed one of the suspects leaving a wooded area. When Longbehn  approached this suspect, the man struck him in the face with a toolbox, breaking his nose and fracturing his eye sockets. The suspect then attempted to take Officer Longbehn’s weapon. The two struggled, but the officer managed to fire a shot, fatally wounding the suspect.

Funeral of Sergeant Joseph Bergeron.

Sergeant Bergeron is survived by his wife and twin daughters.
Police Officer Brian Huff

Detroit Michigan Police Department

May 3, 2010 – Officer Brian Huff was shot and killed when he responded to a shots-fired call at a known drug house. When Officer Huff and other officers made entry they were met with gunfire. Officer Huff was the first officer through the door and was shot multiple times just above his vest. Four other officers were wounded in the exchange as they attempted to pull Officer Huff to safety.

Officer Brian Huff was killed as he responded to a shots-fired call at this known drug house. photo.

Officer Huff leaves behind his wife and ten-year-old daughter.

20 replies
  1. Jim
    Jim says:

    Lee, I think Southland looks very true to LAPD; myself I sent 26 years there as a police officer. Some of the stories remind me of my own experiences. Thank you for not going all Hollywood and making it totally unreal. I think the photo you posted is probity a retired LAPD Motors Cop working the set. The Sam Brown with the buckle was used a lot, at one point years ago the Bruce Brown (All Velcro/no buckle) was used issued. With the one without the buckle guys would push their car keys in between the velcro belts so they could get them out fast. A thing that most guys carried was a back up gun, usually a smith 38 because the fear was your 9mm might jam. If you show that in your show remember no P-III or P-3+1 would allow their boot (P-1) carry a second gun even if he is in his last phase.

  2. queenofmean
    queenofmean says:

    You are making me so jealous talking about WPA. The way this year has gone so far (& looks to be going), there is no way I can make it. I am so looking forward to making one of these. Do me a favor & set one up in Pittsburgh, huh?
    I guess the camera work on Southland tries to set it up as more of reality-type show. Considering I was wearing new glasses last night (with bifocals!), it did make me a little dizzy.

  3. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Michele – The WPA is going to be a lot of fun. See you there. I guess I’ll see you again at Killer Nashville, too.

    Neil – I don’t normally watch cop shows, but I’ve enjoyed this one so far.

  4. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Dave – I just posted a picture at the end of the post of an active duty LA police officer. The photo is from a fall 2009 news article. Notice the belt buckle. But I agree, many departments have gone to the Velcro-style belts. In fact, I still have mine, somewhere.

    I also agree about the key placement. I did something really weird with mine – I put them in my pocket. I did, however, keep a spare handcuff key hidden on my gun belt. I could never get the thought out of my mind that someone could attack you and then use your own cuffs to restrain you. We went through that exercise in the basic academy and it stuck with me for all those years.

  5. Dave Swords
    Dave Swords says:

    Hi, Lee.

    I noticed the cars keys stuck in the belt for quick access. I used to have a clip on my belt that I clipped the keys to. I didn’t trust the keys stuck in the belt trick. I wanted to be sure they were there when I went after them. Some guys used to have a way to clip them onto the buckle itself. I didn’t trust that either.

    The one thing that did catch my attention was the use of a Sam Browne belt with a buckle. I thought that LA, and many departments, had gone to the buckleless Velcro style belt. Maybe not. But, that is a minor thing considering the attention to detail in other areas.

  6. Neil Plakcy
    Neil Plakcy says:

    I’ve loved Southland since it first came out. Thanks for a great analysis, Lee– I’ve started watching the show now wondering what you will think of it!

  7. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Mack – He’s their prisoner. They’ll watch/guard him until he’s able to go to jail, or a jail hospital. Suicide watch would be part of that duty.

  8. Mack
    Mack says:

    When Lydia leaves the hospital room after handcuffing the suspect to the bed frame, she tells the two uniform officers that he is all theirs. What are the officer’s duties at this point? Watch him to make sure he doesn’t try to kill himself?



  9. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Well, hello there, Eleanor’s Mom. Yes, you truly are blessed. Eleanor is a remarkable young woman, and I’m proud to feature her on my site.

    Tell her we all said hi, and to keep writing!

  10. ginigeorge
    ginigeorge says:


    I am the unbelievably proud mother of Eleanor. For your regular visitors I wanted to say that her essay detailed one particular trip she took with my brother-in-law’s youth group into Mexico. The group built a home for a desperately needy family. She has been taking these trips with our family since she was in kindergarten and her volunteerism has impacted her world-view tremendously. Her essay also explained that (although you can’t see it from the posted photo) she is going to donate her gorgeous red hair to the Locks of Love Foundation. I am blessed.

  11. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Kudos to Eleanor.

    Ten years ago, I read a book called “The Fourth Turning,” which was about of cycles of culture and generations and how they interplay. Fascinating stuff.

    Without going into it, Eleanor’s generation (what the book termed the “millenial” generation) is the same generational archetype as the WWII generation – the “Greatest” generation. So, yes, in spite of the negative press that is shed upon the “rotten apples,” some very impressive things are quietly going on with this generation that is just starting to make it’s mark in our world.

  12. Mary
    Mary says:

    That’s so cool! I wish I could read her entry.

    Yeah, in today’s society most teenagers aren’t held in highest respect. The kids who are hanging outside yhact buildings and lighting their hand on fire (seen both) are usually the ones who get more attention than those working and doing volunteer work.

    As for not being able to post the story for security reasons, I think that’s smart. I used to IM a lot and hang out on message boards and talked to a few mysterious folks who claimed to be teenage girls but clearly weren’t. That’s one of the things that attracts me to police work, is going after those jerks and not letting ’em get away with that sort of thing. (So, sorry if I seem a little obsessed with police procedurals sometimes lol)

  13. Elena
    Elena says:

    I am thrilled for the young lady, and for all those who entered the contest. And, I’m saddened that we live in a world where it doesn’t feel safe to share her entry.

    I’m with you Terry – the older I get the more impatient I find myself with the flip bit about ‘teens today’. More and more I find myself coming back with “Well, they’re your kids (or grandkids), what are you doing about it?” Grrrrrrrrr

  14. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Terry – It is refreshing to hear some good news for a change. I tire easily of the media only publicizing the bad things kids do. I’ve also grown weary of stories about teen celebrities and all their shenanigans.

    I understand the young lady in the blog above receives tons of support and guidance from her parents. It certainly shows.

  15. Terry
    Terry says:

    thanks for sharing this, Lee. It’s nice to see the other side of the news, which seems to dwell only on the negativity. There are a lot of good kids out there, and it’s important to recognize them.

Comments are closed.