A few Tuesdays ago, my daughter Isabella, and her first grade class, were outside playing at recess when Alexandria police officer Peter LaBoy answered a call to investigate a strange yellow cab van that was hovering around the school. When the officer approached the van, parked just on the outside of the playground fence and only feet from my daughter and her classmates, there was an altercation. Officer LaBoy was shot twice critically in the head.
The children heard and, some I believe saw, the shots. Bella said their teachers sprang into action racing them into their school where they remained on lock down for the rest of the day.
Isabella said she heard the “firework” and was immediately told not to grab anything – no lunch box, nothing just run as fast as they can inside. She was scared, but her teachers instantly made her feel better by their calm and comfort and skill in executing their plan without panic. For this I am so deeply thankful. The children felt in control and I am sure their heroic action kept many of them from being traumatized and frightened.
Sadly the children also witnessed officer LaBoy being airlifted out of their playground and off to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.
In just one moment, the terrifying reality of how fragile a world we leave our children to navigate became crystal clear to me. The officer is a father of children who go to my daughter’s school – their lives will never be the same.
The idea of Isabella, of any of those children, just feet from a deadly bullet – simply heart stopping. And even more sadly, it’s becoming less and less of a surprise everyday.
So I include this letter because we want to help officer LaBoy and his family. This hero protected our children on that day and so many others. He is part of our community and he now desperately needs our help. Would you consider making a donation to the fund that has been set up for him and his family? Any amount can help. And once you have donated, let me know you did. For every donation collected, the children of Lyles Crouch are tying a blue ribbon to their schoolyard fence. They will tie one on for you, and even include a message on it for the officer’s family. Everyday, those school children can feel protected and comforted, wrapped inside the fence full of ribbons from a community pledging to keep them safe. And officer LaBoy’s children will always know their father is a hero.
Donations can be made on line @ Alexandriava.gov/police/info
Or by clicking here: donate online
Or mailed to: Alexandria Police Assn. c/o Peter LaBoy P.O. Box 1228 Alexandria, VA 22313
Remember to let me know you did this so we can tie a ribbon for you.