Agent Gene Cassidy
SOME HAVE MORE TO GIVE -Agent Eugene Cassidy- "Medal of Honor Recipient" Baltimore City Police Officer
September - October 2005 Volume 32, Number 5
From the Office of the Executive Director Patrick L. Bradley Maryland Police Training Commission Over the last decade I have had the honor of attending many graduation ceremonies for new law enforcement and correctional officers. Given the sentiments, at these ceremonies, it is not unusual for speakers to reference the sacrifices these (usually) young men and women are making to serve their community. Nearly all have the skills, talents, and intellect to earn more money than they will in public safety. They have “answered the call” to serve their communities, and have sacrificed higher compensation, regular hours and a safe working environment. I get a very special feeling of appreciation that comes with the understanding of the willingness of these men and women to give up so much. For some, service as a public safety officer will require even more sacrifice…. when injury and harm go from potential to reality. For a few, thankfully a very few, the ultimate sacrifice of their lives will be the cost of their service. Others may incur physical or emotional injuries. It will be a life-long or life-altering consequence of their duty as a police officer, sheriff or correctional officer. For those officers who survive the debilitating line-of-duty service injury, there are few choices available. Certainly, the career as a public safety officer is over. Insurance, pension or other compensation may offset the lost earnings, but there is nothing to replace the loss of what was once a promised and promising future. There are, of course, exceptions. One of these exceptional people is Baltimore City Police Agent Eugene Cassidy.
In 1987, Police Agent Eugene Cassidy was patrolling the Baltimore City’s Western District when he spotted an individual he believed was wanted. In the ensuing confrontation, Agent Cassidy was shot in the head. His life was spared, but he lost his sight; totally, irretrievably, permanently. After the hospitalization and therapy, Agent Cassidy was faced with the decision as to his future and that of his young family. A full, tax-free, line-of-duty pension was available to him. But that injury-based retirement also meant the termination of Gene’s dream and desire to serve public safety. He wasn’t ready to call it quits. He wanted to stay a police officer. He would become a police trainer. College educated and experienced as a patrol officer in Baltimore’s most challenging neighborhoods, Gene Cassidy felt he had something to offer new recruit police officers. Not only could he instruct them on the knowledge and skills they would need, but he could also demonstrate what it meant to be a police officer…..to serve the community and to give, above and beyond the call-of-duty, and to keep giving long after even the most committed would stop. I was the commanding officer of the Baltimore City Police Academy when Agent Cassidy was being considered for appointment as an instructor. When I asked the obvious question about why he would opt to continue working when a full pension was available he response was simple. He said he felt he had more to give. Working with a companion dog, an array of sophisticated Braille-related equipment and a contingent of supportive fellow- instructors, Gene Cassidy developed into one of Maryland’s premier public safety instructors. He is the living testimony of true essence of commitment to a vocation. Over the last fourteen years, Agent Eugene Cassidy has influenced more recruit and veteran police officers as an instructor than he could ever hope to in another capacity. Last month, Agent Eugene Cassidy accepted a retirement from the Baltimore City Police Department. He leaves a legacy of influence that will transcend many generations of officers. I am proud to have once been his commanding officer at the Academy and to have played some small role in his development as a trainer. I regard Gene Cassidy as an outstanding instructor, an extraordinary police officer, and an exceptional human being. An example to all. "Butchie Frazier" the COWARD that shot Cassidy
Citations for a Hero
The Sun (1837-1989); Dec 13, 1988; pg. 1F
Citations for a Hero
Agent Eugene Cassidy. 28, a Baltimore police officer blinded by a bullet fired by a drug suspect on Oct. 22. 1987, was awarded the Police Department’s Medal of Honor and Citation of Merit during a ceremony yesterday (12 Dec 1988) at the Western District Police Station. He was accompanied by his guide dog. Izzy; his wife. Patty; their 6-month-old daughter, Lauren; and his mother, Mary Cassidy.
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll