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Tribute to Officer Roy Marcum EOW 11/28/12

A Personal Tribute to my Fallen fellow Animal Control Officer and Friend, Roy Marcum.

Tribute to the Man I Knew

Officer Roy Curtis Marcum #463

EOW 11/28/12

How do you say goodbye to someone your not ready to say goodbye to? Who is gone before your even given a chance to say goodbye?

From the first time I met Roy some 7 years ago, he could always put a smile on anyones face. I had just started with Animal Control. My first impression of Roy was, what a easy going laid back guy! Smiling, laughing and teasing other co-workers. He just radiated calmness and warmth. And his favorite word was F***.

In my first few weeks of Training, I had the pleasure of being supervised by Roy. His preferred beat was "deep South". He drove most of the time, but had me drive some during the second half of the shift. When talking, Roy had a way of making everyone feel at ease. He didn't over react, didn't raise his voice. He had a way of getting through to people without outright threats, being a bully, or overstepping his authority. He could have someone start out very aggitated and by the end of the conversation they were smiling and shaking his hand even if he was giving them a citation.  That was Roy.

One of my favorite calls with Roy was during this training time. We had been chasing this dog all over town. Dog had no street smarts and would have been hit if left to wander. driving and all our efforts to catch this dog were of no use, except the last resort, tranq gun.  While I drove, Roy loaded the tranq gun. Then he had me get right up alongside the running dog. Roy leaned over me from the passenger seat with the tranq gun out the window. He directed me to drive faster or slower as he took his shot. Got it! And GO GO GO! As the dog accelerated and turned a corner. We sped after the dog and through the streets until it jumped a short little white fence into what turned out to be it's yard. Roy jumped out and went after the dog. Just as the dog was collapsing under the influence of the tranq, amazingly, the owner finally came out as we were putting the dog on our truck. The guy was yelling and fuming and Roy stopped him in his tracks with that trademark smile of his and his way with words. We drove away with the guy's dog and the guy understanding that he could get his dog back as soon as the tranq wore off.

That was Roy's way. Leave them with a smile or at least calm and understanding. The few times I saw Roy in a bad mood was always related to a case of animal cruelty he was working. And he was tenacious about getting results. Roy had the biggest heart for animals. And animals responded to him. It make me laugh when he used his high pitched baby voice to talk to animals to calm them. It worked and they responded. Even the ones that were so fearful they were defensive, Roy could calm them. I never saw him be heavy handed with an animal. He did everything with a calm demeanor and animals felt this. It was amazing to work with Roy.

Roy was a friend, a brother in uniform and a mentor. Roy and I were al lot alike so it was easy to learn from him. It was easy to talk to him. We had a lot in common. We were about the same age, we had each a son and a daughter about the same age, teenagers! We had both been in the Air Force about the same time, and both had second marriages to our soul mates. We talked at length about all these things.

We shared tales of our military experiences, funny things that happened and reminding each other at times, how our current careers are not much different that what we learned in the service. 

We shared our kids antics. Roy and I both have oldest sons and younger daughters. We agreed that girls are much harder to raise then the boys. We shared parenting advise with each other. We shared funny stories about our kids. And reveled in their accomplishments. Roy loved his kids to the ends of the earth. He loved to talk about them and share what we was doing with them. He frequently brought his daughter along on ride alongs with him when allowed to. He enjoyed spending the time with her. We talked about the progress he and his son were at with building his son a truck. No matter what he was so proud of his kids.

Roy's wife is an amazing woman on her own. All you had to do was ask Roy. They fit well together, as long as Roy knew she was Boss. He would talk about their little getaways together, not revealing details other than having a wonderful time together. Seeing them together you knew there was so much love between the two of them. They had fun together, they supported each other, and they loved their family.

When you work in such an intense career as we have you bond with the people you work with, they become family. You spend as much time if not more with them than your own family. You find that even in your off time, you are friends, because due to our work you "get" each other and understand things that people not in our field wouldn't understand. Their family becomes your family. You share their ups and downs, and your there for each other and their families.  

Roy was an integral part of our lives. He is gone and that is very hard to fathom. Roy leaves a huge hole in our universe. And there are the little things that will be gone forever. Roy walking in with his boot laces untied and half his shirt hanging out before our shift began. Roy's infectious laugh. Yelling at Roy for his truck being messy and him just laughing at you. 472 saying every morning at 8am "Where's Roy?" to our Boss at the assignment board,  when he and everyone else knew Roy came in at 9am. Hollering at Roy for hogging all the Stand-by shifts you wanted. And him smiling and laughing at you. Roy calling you on a "blond moment" teasing you but helping make you laugh at yourself. And many many other little things that will be missing. Reminding us of him. Reminding me of him.

Roy would be chuckling right now, smiling that teasing big brother smile.

"It's all good."

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Keepalowprofile November 30, 2012 at 01:31 PM
My condolences to Roy's family and friends. It sounds like he was an amazing person. As a retired animal control officer, I know people like Roy even without knowing Roy personally, I know our world has been made a little less by his untimely passing. {{Roy, check on my horse for me, Will ya? You'll know him when you see him... He is a great big palomino with a kind eye and a gentle spirit. Hop on and go for a ride... Ride him like the wind. I'll be there to reclaim him when my times comes.}}
Jay Boettcher December 01, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Im so sorry to Roy's family. truely, they will miss him the most. Roy & I joined the USAF together back in 1987 he & I went though basic training together in Texas & were both stationed in Spangdahlem Air Base Germany. When your 19 & shipped around the world so many anxious & exciting things go through your mind, roy & I shared those together! we partied together, cried together, I will miss him! For a time we were best friends! Til I see you again old friend John 5:28-29 Jay C Boettcher
Holky B. December 02, 2012 at 12:28 PM
What a nice tribute. I am an ACO in Tennessee. Roy sounds like this kind of man I would have been blessed to be mentored by. I'm glad you got to know him and am stricken with deep sadness that you lost him. My prayers are with you. Holly B. Chattanooga
Robert Heslop December 02, 2012 at 04:29 PM
What a wonderful tribute. As an Animal Control Offcier in California I know what an uphill battle it is to make sure our agencies recognize the dangers that are present. From all accouts Officer Markum was always asking about safety, always concerned about his fellow officers and always friendly and professional with the customeers he served. I wish in my travels that I had the chance to meet and know him. He has gone ahead to the rainbow bridge to pave the way for the rest of us.
Robert Heslop December 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Have to post this in several segments. "Unlike most days at RainBow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was something special. It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the pathway...the ones who had been at RainBow Bridge for a while...knew the story of this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times.
Robert Heslop December 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their special people could pass over the RainBow Bridge. And he had no special beloved people...not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below.
Robert Heslop December 02, 2012 at 04:33 PM
With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of other sad-eyed animals like himself...elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them. And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and waiting. One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.
Robert Heslop December 02, 2012 at 04:33 PM
"That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired of him. They way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody to escort him across the Bridge." The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?"
Robert Heslop December 02, 2012 at 04:33 PM
As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who, just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever. This figure turned toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as they had been in the prime of life. From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all crossed together. The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?"
Robert Heslop December 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM
"That was a rescuer," came the answer. "That person spent a lifetime trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on Earth across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them...just as they are special to all animals." "I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival. "So does God," was the reply." --Author Unknown--
Matthew McCormick December 03, 2012 at 08:28 AM
RIP brother and thank you for your years of service speaking for those who can't. Our thoughts and pray's go out to family and friends Coventry Rhode Island Animal Control Matthew McCormick # 95
Paladin December 03, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Beautiful tribute. We can all only hope that we can each make such a positive impact on people around us when our time here is done. I'm an ACO in Texas - 17 years on the job.
Mitch Prefach December 03, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Roy, you were a friend to law enforcement and we had many a rescue together. Your wife, Tina, was one of the best Animal Control Officers and still works with many agencies. It was an honor and a pleasure to have known you. I will continue this struggle for animal rights in your name. It was what you would have wanted. Respectfully, Detective Mitch Prefach (retired).
Cindy Jines December 03, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Roy came to our home this last July 4th to pick up a lost stray we found. My grown daughter took it upon herself to care for the animal until it was time for her to go home, leaving us with the responsibility to take care of this stray animal. The next day we called animal control and they sent out Roy. I remember thinking, “what a nice guy!” He talked with us awhile and assured us that the dog would not be put down and how we could even check up on his status on-line. We even joked about how we thought about trading our spunky Queensland Heeler for this well behaved Cocker, but ours has a chip and would quickly be returned to us. Our hearts broke when we heard the news break, and even more so when we recognized Roy’s picture. Our condolences, prayers and sympathy to all his family, friends, co-workers, and the many animals who will never know his love and care.
Joe maurin December 03, 2012 at 10:29 PM
My heart goes out to his family, friends, fellow officers. May you rest in peace and may all those who loved and cared for you be comforted by your memory. J. Maurin #41 Orange County Animal Control
Tanya December 10, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I'm so blessed to have had the chance to meet you Roy. You made me feel like part of the team and made many late night call outs less scary since you were on call too lol. You are my hero for fixing my heater and if it wasn't for you my whole family would be trying to endure another cold winter. But that was the kinda guy you are always willing to help. You spent 8hrs of your day off in my tiny crawl space attic with your cousin in law and my husband and still came out laughing and talking covered in dust, fiberglass and sweat. I still owe you that beer my friend I will meet you with a cold one on the other side. Tanya
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