Each year on June 10, we honor the memory of...
Over the last year Americans have faced some of the most challenging times in the history of our nation. From a worldwide pandemic, to violent civil unrest in the streets of our cities, we were torn as a nation. As we all watched these events unfold, we saw moments of great pride as well as moments of great despair. We witnessed emotional pain, financial ruin, neighbor turn against neighbor, injury and death. However, we are a nation of resiliency and while we may get knocked down, we will never be knocked out. We are on that road to recovery, but that road will be long, with many scars that will never heal.
The Constellis and Triple Canopy family was not spared during this time of challenge. Both personally and professionally we suffered alongside each other and our fellow Americans. Perhaps the deepest cut suffered occurred on May 29, 2020 when two of our own were viciously attacked in a senseless act of violence. PSO Dave Underwood succumbed to his injuries that night, making the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of his fellow citizens. On the anniversary of this attack, I want to take a moment and recognize that ultimate sacrifice made by our coworker and friend Dave Underwood.
On May 29, 2020 North American Operations DHS/FPS Northern California Protective Security Officer (PSO) Dave Patrick Underwood was shot and killed while on duty at an exterior vehicle access control point of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, California. On this date PSO Underwood and his partner were assigned to secure a vehicle access ramp and ensure the safety and security of building occupants during area protests and civil unrest. Intent on taking advantage of the protests, members of the anti-government “boogaloo” movement came to the Oakland area with the specific purpose of killing a Law Enforcement Officer. PSO Underwood and his partner were targeted for assassination by the group in this senseless act of domestic terrorism simply because they wore a federal uniform. PSO Underwood’s partner, who wishes to remain unnamed, was also shot four times but survived the attack and continues on his road to full recovery.
In the weeks following the attack, federal and local law enforcement worked around the clock to identify and apprehend the individuals and coconspirators responsible for these heinous acts. Each of these individuals are now in custody pending trial for homicide and numerous other criminal charges.
The death of Dave Underwood shook our nation. The loss of a genuine and good man for no other reason than he wore a uniform and represented law and order confounded even the most radical of our citizens. Then Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf addressed the incident stating, “The recent shooting in Oakland that led to the death of FPS officer Dave Underwood and the injury of one of his FPSO colleagues was a horrific tragedy, I grieve with the FPS, the FPS community and the enter DHS family. The loss of such a fine man in an act of senseless, cowardly violence. Officer Underwood gave his life protecting us and we owe him, his family, his colleagues a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to repay.”
While Dave was taken from us too soon, his memory lives on both mentally and physically within our organization. He is remembered by those he watched over as the figure of authority who put their needs in front of his own. He is remembered by his coworkers who came to know him as a friend. He is remembered by his supervisors who depended upon him each day and were never disappointed, and he is remembered by those in our organization who never had the opportunity to meet him but know of him as a colleague who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of his duty.
On the anniversary of the death of our coworker and friend Dave Patrick Underwood, the injury to his partner, and on the start of the Memorial Day weekend, I ask that each of you take a moment to reflect in silence in honor of Dave and all of our fallen.
PSO Dave Patrick Underwood
End of Watch – May 29, 2020
GERARD NEVILLE, FBINA 181
President of North American Operations