The eighteen new officers joining the ranks of the United States Park Police had their last training run as recruits downtown around the monuments and memorials they will soon protect.
Physical fitness is paramount for police officers and this run only added to their high level of conditioning.
Since the commanders of the United States Park Police firmly believe in leading by example, the Chief of Police, a Deputy Chief of Police, two Majors, and a Captain joined the newest members of the Force for this fitness run.
Fitness is critical, however equally important is the sense of community all officers must share. This family of law enforcement must never forget those officers who gave their lives serving with us. The new officers were told of those United States Park Police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the people they serve.
Bringing this point home firmly was the presence of the surviving son of one of our fallen.
Hakim Farthing died in the line of duty on August 10, 2002. He is survived by his now eleven year old son, Eric.
Eric met the new officers and followed them as they ran the National Mall. When the runners finnished at Headquarters, Eric was presented with the recruit class "guidon."
This run clearly established the link all of us have with those who served before.
Eric will always be part of our family.