The Blue Pawn: A Memoir of an NYPD Foot Soldier

Never before in our country's history had our first responders been more appreciated than during the tragic events surrounding 9/11. When many of these brave men and women were asked why they would risk their own lives to save strangers, their answers rang with a common theme:

“It's who I am.”

“It's in my core.”

“It's my calling.”

Since that fateful, sunny day in September, the commitment by these heroic individuals has never wavered. Sure, some of the personnel have been replaced, but the DNA lives on. So why then has the public sentiment gone from gratitude to resentment? I could've never imagined the day when groups would be chanting to kill cops, while a song written by Francis Scott Key was used for anything other than to show respect to our nation and those that served.

There was a time I wore the blue uniform of a New York City Police Officer. It was a dream come true to follow in my father's footsteps. Upon graduating from the Police Academy in 1987, my dad, once a highly-decorated detective in the NYPD, gave me some advice: always be prepared, keep a journal of your experiences, and lastly, remember that the rank of police officer is equivalent to being a pawn in a game of chess.

The word pawn is derived from the Latin word meaning foot soldier. This is my story―the story of a foot soldier in the greatest city in the world.

May those who don't understand what it's like to be a police officer be enlightened. As for those that serve, I pray you learn from my mistakes.

by D.D. Simpson

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