It was an early Sunday morning one year ago, when the lives of three law enforcement officers were lost and three others were injured in the tragic police ambush in Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie says leading up to that day, he thought the unrest was about to be over after the protests of the Alton Sterling shooting were settling down. He says everything came crashing down at 8:30 a.m. when he received that phone call.
“You dread that phone call that you have an officer that’s down but you can never prepare yourself for that call much less for the call that you have three officers down and three more hurt.”
Dabadie says throughout this catastrophic event, the community has come together in unimaginable ways to support BRPD. He says the department has been working extremely hard to improve relations with the public.
“I think the only way that we’re going to get through this is with open and honest dialogue and I believe we’ve done that with all the community meetings that we’ve held.”
Dabadie says this anniversary is a day of remembrance and reflection for the lives of the three officers lost, Deputy Brad Garafola, Officers Matthew Gerald and Montrell Jackson. He says these families have been to hell and back.
“I want them to know that our hearts are still with them and we stand with them, they’re not alone in this. We’re standing right beside them and we’re here for them. They have been amazing.”
Dabadie says he’s in awe of the tremendous bravery shown by the wives of the fallen officers.
“Their courage and their strength that they’ve had to endure over the last 12 months and they’re still going strong. I think they’ve taught me more than I’ve helped them with.”