STORIES FROM THE BLUE FAMILY
DID YOU KNOW…
Officer Martin Barros retired on July 31, 2006 after 25 years of service to the citizens of Coral Gables and this police department. When Officer Barros began in March of 1981, today’s humiliating and insolent attitude towards law enforcement was not nearly as evident as it is today. A mere four decades later, the lack of respect for officers is the least of law enforcement’s problems. A career that once hailed officers as heroes, now embraces year-round open season on killing the men and women in blue.
But there will always be great stories to be shared. Coral Gables’ residents have always held their officers to very high standards, and back in 1985, residents also showed their respect and appreciation for law enforcement.
Martin relates a story which happened on December 13, 1985. Officer Barros was working the midnight shift and was injured while in pursuit of a burglary subject. The subject ended up getting away and Martin ended up at Doctors Hospital; he had suffered a dislocated right elbow providing him with several months off the road. Officer Barros was discharged some 48 hours later and knew there would be no Noche Buena or New Year’s Eve party that year. But, on Christmas Eve a visit came from Jim Avery, the then FOP Lodge #7 President. Not knowing why he was there, he was sure it was not good – he knew he had screwed up and Jim was the bearer of bad news. He was wrong…
After the accident, the neighbors where Martin had received his injury, got together and collected a very nice chunk of cash to give to him. Once they contacted the station, Jim decided to make the delivery himself. Martin asked Jim why the residents had done that and his response was “that’s the way it is in the Gables”.
Martin was obviously happy to have received the gift, but a stronger outcome was the knowledge of what the residents of Coral Gables were all about and what it meant for him. Jim didn’t have to do what he did either. He could have attended a holiday gathering with friends and family but here too support for law enforcement from law enforcement. All Jim wanted was for Martin, once back on the road, to go back and thank each of the neighbors for what they had done. He did.
In 1991, Martin became an active member of this Lodge and for the next 15 years worked effortlessly to ensure that the Coral Gables Police Department continued to hold itself to the high standards set before them by this community.
As Martin would say, “do your job, watch your back”. Thank you retired Police Officer Martin Barros.