ANNE ARUNDEL, MD– In early February of this year, Law Enforcement Today brought you the story of two police detectives from the Anne Arundel County Police who were shot in the line of duty.
A brief recap (you can read our full article here):
Anne Arundel County detectives were investigating a homicide in Glen Burnie when they determined that the victim’s vehicle was missing. A short time later, detectives located the missing vehicle at a local Royal Farms convenience store near the Baltimore city limits.
When the officers attempted to stop the driver, they were met with gunfire striking Detective Scott Ballard. Ballard was able to get away and seek medical help.
Detective Ian Preece, who was in a separate vehicle, chased the suspect to nearby Stoney Beach Townhouse Community. Preece pursued the suspect into the community where the suspect managed to exit his vehicle and fire at Detective Preece, striking him.
Both detectives survived, but were left with severe injuries.
Detectives Ian Preece and Scott Ballard are home recovering after the shooting that involved multiple wrecked vehicles, a 15-hour manhunt in a locked-down neighborhood and a scramble for survival. https://t.co/loPL4xLcXD
— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) February 23, 2020
The 22-year-old suspect was apprehended two days later after an extensive manhunt.
Ballard and Preece are both recovering from their wounds. A fellow officer, Joshua Cook, reached out to me and told me about a wonderful thing that he, and so many police supporters across the nation, had done to boost the spirits of these two heroes.
Cook co-founded an organization called Enter The Lion (ETL), a group that offers Bible studies, mentorship, meetups and webinars.
ETL put the word out on social media that they were requesting videos with uplifting messages to Detectives Ballard and Preece to boost their spirits during their recovery.
The response, Cook said, was incredible.
The detectives received videos from 15 states, from Hawaii to Rhode Island.
Cook told me:
“This was just such a cool outpouring of support from people in our country. People took the time just to say we love you, we are praying for you and we got your back.
It was a powerful feeling to see all the support nationwide for our brothers.”
Anyone else get goosebumps and stand up a little straighter when you read that?
That’s not all Cook told me. He said that among other supporters, Ballard and Preece were sent videos by none other than the members of Five Finger Death Punch, as well as actor Max Martini.
If you aren’t familiar, let me tell you a little about these people.
Five Finger Death Punch is a heavy metal band that is incredibly pro-police. In 2018, they dedicated a song to police and first responders everywhere.
The description of the song “When the Seasons Change” is:
“Written by Five Finger Death Punch Guitarist Zolton Bathory, the video is dedicated to those Police Officers and First Responders around the world who selflessly put their lives on the line every day.
Amongst them a hometown hero of the band–fallen Army Veteran and Las Vegas Police Officer–Charleston Hartfield–lost his life in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting using his own body to shield and save others from the hail of bullets.”
I dare you not to cry listening to it, and even more so if you watch the video.
It’s hard to watch. It’s real. It’s incredible.
Max Martini is an American actor/writer/director that was in several military movies, including “Saving Private Ryan,” “Captain Phillips,” “13 Hours” and “Sgt. Will Gardner.”
Hey everyone! These are friends of mine that are doing great things for veterans! If you’re in the DC area in April please support them!!! https://t.co/aH2CwAyAC4
— Max Martini Official (@maxmartinila) November 21, 2019
His mother was in law enforcement, as well as other members of his family, and he also has several military veterans in his family.
He’s also active in supporting charities such as Warriors Heart, the Gary Sinise Foundation and Higher Ground USA.
Cook put all the videos together in one compilation for the Detectives. Here are the two celebrity videos that were shared with me and, with permission from Detectives Ballard and Preece, I am sharing them with you.
Max Martini’s video:
Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zolton Bathory’s video:
What an amazing display of support from these celebrities taking time out of their day to bring a smile to two detectives faces that they’ve never even met.
I’m not sure if they could possibly understand what support like that means to the law enforcement community. Daily we are attacked, physically and with words, by not only the people we deal with, but by our administrators, our politicians, and even famous people who use their fame to push an anti-police agenda.
I was able to speak with Detective Preece over email. He told me:
“This video was truly amazing and I was speechless when I watched it the first time.
I was very humbled by all the responses, from all over the country by people of different ages, race, gender, vocation (military, law enforcement, and civilian), and so many from diverse backgrounds that included even stars famous stars as actor Max Martini and musical artist from Five Finger Death Punch (One of my favorite hard rock bands) Zoltan Bathory.
It put a huge smile on my face and I have found myself replaying it from time to time for encouragement before physical therapy sessions.
It also reminds me of why this profession is so special and that the majority of people in this great country support our Law Enforcement community.
The outpouring of support has been tremendous from my co-workers and my department, the local community and family, and all over Maryland and even the entire country.
My family and I would like to thank everyone for their positive responses, reinforcement, and support and I look forward to having the privilege to eventually return to work alongside my brothers and sisters in blue in service to this great community.
Until I return, stay positive, stay resilient, and stay safe!”
In true hero officer form, when Preece thanked Cook for putting the video together, Preece said:
“I am not sure I did anything special that another one of our officers would not have done, but I appreciate you reaching out.”
You officers absolutely did something special and your attitude during recovery proves it. Thank you for your service and we wish you well in your recovery!
Please join us at Law Enforcement Today in thanking these celebrities for this small act that means so much to us, and in continuing to pray for Detectives Ballard and Preece.
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