The Bracelet

Dale Green was a Sergeant with the Tallahassee Police Department. He was a father, a husband, a son, and a friend to many. He was also the Sniper Team Leader of our Tactical Unit. Dale was good at everything he did and he was a very accomplished Police Officer. He was highly respected by those he worked with and by the community he served. Unfortunately Dale was shot and killed in the line of duty on November 13, 2002 by a home invasion robber who had forced his way into the southwest Tallahassee home of two women to rob them of drugs. The suspect robbed the wrong house. One of the women was able to get to a phone and call Police. Dale quickly arrived and confronted the robber in the front yard as he was fleeing. It was there that Dale lost his life. Several hours later the robber was arrested after a lengthy vehicle chase and more shots being fired. Dale now rests in a small rural cemetery in Wakulla County, Florida. The robber spends the remainder of his life in a Florida prison. Those of us who knew and loved Dale push on.

While visiting the Officer Down Memorial Page online earlier this year a message had been left by a lady in North Georgia who had written that her seven year old son had been swimming in the Toccoa River near Copperhill, Tennessee near a railroad trestle in July and had found a Dale Green memorial bracelet on the bottom of the river between two rocks. The water had weathered the bracelet however the inscription could still be read. The mother and her son (Isaac) left a message on Dale’s Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) explaining the find and wanting to return the bracelet to Dale’s widow Deb. Having read this post I thought about how bizarre it was for one of Dale’s memorial bracelets to end up on the rocky bottom of a Tennessee river only to be discovered by a 7 year old boy who had the heart to want to return the bracelet to Deb.

(Link to Dale Green’s Officer Down Memorial page)

After several attempts I located this family on Facebook and contacted Isaac’s mom. I thanked them for finding the bracelet and making an attempt to return it. I explained that this was more than a mere coincidence. What are the chances, right? I went on to tell her about Dale, the kind of man and Officer he was and how he was killed. I told her that Dale would want Issac to keep that bracelet and let it serve as a reminder to always do the right thing. I encouraged Issac to “be like Dale” in all that he does.

Our Sniper Team Leader, Friend and Mentor Sgt. Dale Green

I soon received a message from Issac’s mom who told me that she would build a plaque to put the bracelet on and she will proudly display it on the wall in Issac’s bedroom. She went on to tell me that Issac admires law enforcement Officers which confirmed my belief that this was more than mere coincidence. I asked her what size shirt Issac wears and she told me, I told her I’d send him a shirt. As I began to share the story of the bracelet with family and friends they too were amazed by the story, many suggesting that it was more of a “God thing” than just mere coincidence or a lucky find on the rocky bottom of a Tennessee river.

I called my good friend Jeff Mahoney who is the Tactical Team Leader and explained the situation and asked him if I could get a Team T Shirt to send to a seven year old boy. Jeff too was impressed with the story and suggested that the Team would gladly provide more than just a T Shirt. He contacted Eric Robinson and explained the situation to him and E Rob went to work! Within a few days E Rob had collected challenge coins, patches, a shirt, decals, and other items to include a very nice “Tactical Team” poster which had been signed by the entire Team as well as the City Manager, Assistant City Manager and Police Chief! Mark Wheeler and Jay Etheridge provided additional gifts. Again, everyone who heard the story was impressed not only with the find but with the good heart of a seven year old boy who only wanted to return the bracelet because it was the right thing to do.

With all of these items collected from a very caring group of people they were mailed to Isaac in North Georgia. Two days later the box arrived. I soon received a message from Issac’s mom that he had received the items and that he was ecstatic!

His mom produced a video of the entire story from the day the bracelet was discovered in the river to the day Isaac opened the box. The video was very well done and very informative. It pretty much filled in the gaps of how and where and answered most unanswered questions.

Video Link:

If anyone thinks that maybe this was just mere coincidence…a rainbow was photographed overhead on the clear and sunny day when Isaac discovered the bracelet.

Isaac’s mom was contacted by Deb Green which brought this story full circle.

Dale was taken from us 19 long years ago but his memory remains with us and he is still having a positive impact on his community. We miss him and were blessed to have known him. He made us better people. Please take a minute and think of him. Be like Dale.

Sgt. Dale Green and his K9 Partner Lux.