A community mourns two of its sisters in Blue

Lisa was 55 years old and Debbie was 57. Both were daughters of Dorchester. Both chose careers as Boston Police officers. Both served in the District of C-11, their home neighborhood, for over 10 years and now they’re both gone far, far too soon.

Lisa Lehane and Debbie Flaherty were two of the funniest, bravest, and most well-respected women to put on the uniform. Their laughs were unmistakable. To this day the guardroom at C-11 erupts with laughter when a group of us old-timers talk about Lisa and Debbie’s exploits. I doubt the new recruits believe their ears, but every word is true.

Debbie started out as a cadet, same as myself. Lisa was in my academy class, 17-86. We graduated together in October of 1986 and were assigned to C-11. I immediately took a great liking to them. Both gave up a lot of themselves for “The Job,” and maybe they sacrificed too much. They both retired from the career they loved sooner than expected, with their demons in tow. Sadly, they both left this world by their own hands a few years after retirement.

Here were two women who spent decades during their law enforcement careers helping hundreds of people while choosing not to obtain any help for themselves.

Nationwide studies and data have been compiled over the years regarding the suicide rates of first responders, but I wonder if such studies even address these same issues for officers who have left the job. Is there a retiree post-traumatic stress syndrome? I honestly don’t know.

But what I do know is that the town of Dorchester, the Lehane and Flaherty families, and the Boston Police Department lost two wonderful ladies. I will miss my sisters in Blue. Rest in Peace.

December 25, 8:28 p.m.

After all, it was the employees’ Christmas, too. Officers responded to a call for a report of a lockout at the CVS store on Gallivan Blvd. On arrival they discovered that an elderly gentleman had been locked inside the closed and secured facility. A key-holder for the store arrived ten minutes later to let the customer out. The befuddled man stated that he was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping and when he went to check out, there were no employees present and he had no way to get out, with not even a chimney to fit through.

November 28, noon

A 24-year-old Braintree woman walked into the front lobby of District 11 to report that a no-good SOB had broken into her car and stolen some items. When the officer taking the complaint ran the plate of the vehicle, it came back as being reported stolen three days earlier from the real owner – the young lady’s mother! Seems the ungrateful thief had taken her mother’s keys and absconded with the car without telling dear old momma. She was escorted to the booking area of the C-11 Bed & Breakfast and charged with larceny of a motor vehicle.

January 5, 8:47 p.m.

Officer Narduzzo was conducting traffic enforcement at Dorchester Ave. and Harborview St. when he observed a white Toyota Camry moving toward him. The officer also noticed that while the car was in motion, the driver, a 53-year-old woman from Randolph, was holding her cell phone in front of her face and texting. After the car was promptly pulled over, the woman demanded to know why she was being inconvenienced. The officer explained why, but the woman smugly told him she wasn’t texting, just merely reading texts sent to her from her boss, as if that made a difference.

The officer went back to his cruiser and ran the woman’s license and it showed that it had been revoked last October for failure to pay fines from the last time she was pulled over, for … “texting while driving.”

She’s a serial texter. Imagine trying to cross busy Dot Ave. with this distracted ninny more concerned about her emails than traffic and pedestrians. A date in Dorchester Court awaits her. She’ll get the notice in her mailbox, not on her phone. Hope she reads it.