By Liz Gelardi
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer is an unlikely poet. He is turning to poetry to express his grief over the loss of Officer Perry Renn.
The poem is called “The Black Band.” It was inspired by the black bands handed out to police during roll call. The bands are place on an officer’s badge during a line of duty death.
Officer Renn was killed in the line of duty on July 5 when he was shot in an alley. The killing set off a wave of emotions for Officer Jeff Webb. The next day he decided to write about his feelings.
“I think I was trying to convey the frustration that all officers feel when an officer is killed and also the honor and the respect that we hold for the sacrifice that a brother officer has had to go through,” said Officer Webb.
This is not the first time Officer Webb turned to poetry to express grief. His poems were read at funerals for his grandfather and brother.
Webb ended up sharing this poem with a supervisor. His supervisor sent it to a website called officer.com and to their surprise the site published it.
Below is the full poem by Officer Jeff Webb:
The Black Band
I’m sick of putting this band on my badge,
Of seeing another brother fall.
Of seeing another sister laid out
Upon an alter before us all.
Of seeing another family sit,
While they receive a folded flag.
And know of the crushing loss they feel,
As you can see their shoulders sag.
Then I remember what this band means,
Recalling the fallen who’ve gone before.
Who gave everything they had,
To honor the badges that they wore.
By protecting the public from evil that lurks,
In the dark recesses of society’s mind,
By being the last bastion of defense.
By being the honored thin blue line.