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A Look Back Over the Past Year

During the past year, many Tallahassee police officers will tell you they're closer as a force than they've ever been. The only major change: city compensation for survivors of officers or firefighters killed on the job.

The day after Sgt. Green's death last year, as this police department was grieving, 17 new recruits reported for their first day. It's been a year now since Officer Gil Dobao joined the Tallahassee Police Department, and hard to forget his first day of work.

"It was very difficult for me to hear it, think back, reflect, ask myself do I really want to do this job?" says Officer Dobao.

He decided he did, and he's not alone. Along with September 11, Tallahassee police say Green's death inspired some current cops to join the force.

"Over the last year, we've hired upwards of 30 or 40 officers who've come to the department after Sergeant Dale Green's death. And many of those officers have said that was the defining moment for them as young people, they found this was something they'd like to do," says TPD Chief Walt McNeil.

The downside? A few officers left the department after green's death, but overall, applications are up. With Green's widow and family in mind, the city changed its benefits for officers killed on the job.

"We give survivors a choice of taking a lump sum or alternatively receiving the amount that they would have gotten over a period of time. Which is something we should have done, should have had in place before. Now I think it's adequate," says Mayor John Marks.

Meanwhile, officers like Gil Dobao may spend more nights helping stranded motorists than facing down danger. Still, the threat is always there, and so is the legacy of a man he never knew.

"As far as working in his shadow, I don't consider it a shadow. I hope to be as good as he was."

Other officers we talked to today say if there's anything positive that came of Sgt. Green's death, it's been a bit more pride in the profession they've taken on.


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