David John ChetcutiMillbrae Police Department, California
End of Watch: Saturday, April 25, 1998
Reflections for Patrolman David John Chetcuti
Although I never had the privilege of knowing you Officer Chetcuti, I do appreciate the fact that you may have saved my life that day…
You see, I was 12 years old at the time and I lived with my family at 304 Roblar Ave in Millbrae. After looking at Google Maps, you will notice that my home was just across a field from the scene of the murder. I myself spent very much time playing in and around the field and drainage ditch that Officer Seann Graham dove into. I remember the huge commotion that day after hearing what I thought was fireworks. I was however, not aware of what happened until the following Monday. Furthermore, I never realized the magnitude of what took place until much later in life…
After doing much reading online, I now know that officer Chetcuti approached the murderer from the south while the suspect was looking for Officer Seann Graham in the bushes and drainage ditch. Had Officer Chetcuti not thrown his life on the line as he did, I can envision a totally different outcome…
Picture with me Hero Chetcuti not showing up and the gun wielding suspect hopping into the bushed to either look for Officer Graham or perhaps to make an escape on foot. I can only imagine what could have happened to my family and I had that suspect done so…
THANK YOU OFFICER CHETCUTI!
REST IN PEACE!
May 17, 2015
Your heroism and service is honored today on the 14th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.
My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer. He was shot twice when ambushed on April 23rd when he was on a foot pursuit of two bank robbers.
Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.
I pray for solace for all that love and remember you. Your family is in my heart's embrace. Thanks to your friends for sharing their memories and devotion to you through their reflections.
Rest In Peace.
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05
April 25, 2012
Rest in Peace, Patrolman Chetcuti. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.
January 15, 2012
I remember Dave from my days working as a medic. He was always friendly and professional. I grew up and live in the area and Dave will forever be part of this community. I'm remembering Dave today.
Officer Michael Arsanis
Oakland Police Dept
March 9, 2010
Thank you for your help with our students. Also, personal thanks for your kindness to my son. He has never forgotten the day when he was 4 years old and you lifted him onto the seat of your motorcycle. The look of joy on his face is one of my favorite memories. Thank you, thank you.
Curtis L. Washington, Teacher
Mills High School
November 11, 2009
It's been ten years. I live it every day. Sometimes, I dream it at night. Never met you before that day, but I'll never forget you. I'm sorry I wasn't there thirty seconds sooner. I'm sorry for your wife and sorry for your boys. You're all in my prayers.
Cpl. M.F. Brookman
Morgan Hill Police Department
April 26, 2008
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission
Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC
September 20, 2007
Thank you Ofc. Chetcuti for your service and dedication to your community and fellow officers. God speed.
Ofc. Eric Chiang
San Francisco Police Department
November 17, 2005
Although I have never met you in person, I feel as though I know you. We have a strange connection. April 25, 1998, I was taking the POST exam for 911 Dispatcher, through the San Mateo Consortium. The test was stopped midway through, because an officer in San Mateo County had just been shot. For many minutes, I watched those who were administering the test, stand, pace and worry about who it was. It was then that I realized how big a law enforcement family truly is. Because no matter who it was, they would feel it.
Shortly after that sad day, I took a position with Burlingame Police, and became a member of a law enforcement family. Shortly after that, I also started working part time at Millbrae PD. It was then that I met your law enforcement family and friends.
Dave, you are surely missed. I've heard many stories about you. I have gotten to know your son David. How proud you'd be of him. He is a blessing to Millbrae PD. One thing is absolutely true. You are still there. I, and many others feel your presence. Soon after April 25, 1998 they put up your memorial sign on northbound 101, close to where you gave your life for a fellow officer. Every day that I work, either at Millbrae or Burlingame, I drive past that sign. And, every day I drive past I say the same little prayer.....which is: Dave, please help me to be the best, most protective dispatcher that I can be today, and please Dave, help me to do everything I can to make sure my guys go home today. You see Dave, the day you died was the day I started my journey in law enforcement again. I feel a connection with you because of that. And, Dave.....every day I pray that prayer, I swear I hear you say - don't worry, I'm there. Thank you Dave for being the inspiration you have been to many, and the wonderful Dad to your boys. I know that you and Gail are now together. God bless you and your family.
Marilyn Johnson, Police Dispatcher
Burlingame Police Department
April 20, 2005
I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.
April 13, 2005
David Chetcuti is my cousin. Our relatives came from the island of Malta. Often, Dave would come into my parent's business and he would bring his smile and sense of humor. I couldn't believe that something like this could happen in my hometown of Millbrae.
Probably one of the saddest experiences in my whole life was David's funeral. There were so many officers standing tall in the pouring rain. They were sending off a hero. David Chetcuti was a hero who saved another officer's life.
God bless David and his family.
Officer Christopher Sherry
California Highway Patrol
You have been gone almost a year now, and oh how I miss you terribly. You made such a difference to me just by being part of my life. You were the best training officer anyone could hope to have. You will always be in my thoughts.
CSO Karen McAdams
Millbrae Police Department
When ever I saw you, you always put a smile on my face. You always knew when someone needed a little pick me up. You would do anything to make people laugh and cheer them up in any way.
Remember the time when Paola was dispatching and she hid in a big box and when she heard you coming down the hall, she jumped out and tried to scare you, well she couldn't do it like you could. You smiled though and that was good enough. You are the best friend anyone could ever hope for. Even though we weren't that close, your thoughtfulness and constant concern always there. You are greatly missed and I think about you all the time. God is with you now and he will keep you safe. You are greatly missed and Loved by all. Thanks for all the memories and good times of laughter and those great parties.
Explorer Alena Matthews
Millbrae PD, CA
My wife and I both knew and worked with Dave. Dave went through the basic academy with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department and then worked for a short time on the department. Before he entered the academy he had been a reserve officer with Millbrae PD. It was there that my wife met and worked with him during the years she worked in the traffic court. She was always talking about the officers she would have contacts with, and Dave was often mentioned as one of the nicest people both on the phone and in court.
We have many, many close friends from many departments, and everyone who knew and worked with Dave has been devastated by his brutal murder. Through it all, Chief Parker and the entire peninsula law enforcement community has rallied around Dave's family, making sure that it's understood that their loss will not be in vain. Each of us had our lives shaken to the very foundation, but with support and time comes healing. You will be missed, but never forgotten.
Dublin Police Services, CA
The policeman stood and faced his God.
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining.
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My chuch have you been true?"
The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry badges
can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are tough.
But I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bill got just to steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometime, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fear."
There was silence around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.
"Step forward now, policeman,
You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in hell."
- Author Unknown
To the Chetcuti Family and the Millbrae Police Department, your in our hearts and in our prayers. 29 Tom 6 - R.I.P.
Officer Jordan J. Boyd
Broadmoor Police Department, CA
I worked with Dave at Millbrae for 6 years. He was a partner and a friend. Dave was a true 'cops cop.' He was proud of his job and was respected by all. Dave was a fun loving guy, bringing humor to every situation that called for it. He was couragous; saving the life of a fellow officer. He was a proud and caring father, and was a loving husband. My wife and I are devastated by Dave's brutal murder. Our hearts go out to his family and to his extended family at Millbrae PD. We love you Dave and we'll treasure the on and off duty memories we shared. Dave's call sign: 29 Tom 6 - R.I.P.
Officer Max Bosel
Mointain View Police Department, CA
For Dave Chetcuti
Three thousand proud and sad they stood on this your memorial day.
Even the heavens darkened and wept to send you on your way.
You gave your life to save another, no one could do more.
And I'm sure the Lord was there to greet you when you got to heaven's door.
Your loss is felt much deeper than any words can show,
but you'll live on in the hearts and minds of those who loved you so.
We'll miss you, Dave.
San Carlos, CA
I was one of the fortunate people to have crossed paths with Dave Chetcuti. I met Dave several years ago working at a nearby hospital, and enjoyed his visits to my department, whether it was to escort a patient or just to share a cup of coffee. He was always pleasant, with a joke and smile for me. I live in Millbrae near the Police Department, so I could always count on seeing Dave around town, riding in his patrol car, or in recent years, his treasured motorcycle. He always waved and smiled to me, and I felt safe when Dave was around. In recent years, he helped me more than he knew with his sage advice and caring protection. He had the kindest heart, the sharpest mind, and the brightest smile. A day without Dave is a day without sunshine. We have had many dark and rainy day since he left us. Millbrae, Our Place in the Sun, will never be quite the same without him. He will be missed, but never forgotten. He lives on in the hearts and minds of all of us lucky enough to have known him.
We are all still in a state of shock over what happened to you. You have given your life to save another. We are all wearing a small replica of your badge so we can keep you with us everywhere we go. I want to thank you for all of your friendship over the years. We never really know how to deal with this type of loss until it hits us and i know that we will never
get over yours. I want you to know that Gail and the boys will be ok. I am proud to have been a part of your life and a part of theirs and you should know that you have done a great job in raising your boys. They have been strong throughout this entire ordeal. We will all do whatever it takes to help them through the times ahead. A man hath no greater love than to give his life for another. 29 Tom 6. Rest in peace my friend.
Officer Jeff Downs
Burlingame Police Department, CA
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