As North Texans pause to remember the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, we wanted to take a moment to honor the first responders. They’re the men and women who run into danger when everyone else is running away.
This week NBCDFW was fortunate enough to spend some time with a group of police officers who've found a unique way to give a little extra to the communities they love.
“We're all adrenaline junkies,” said Rod Hill. He spent almost 24 years as a police officer in Arlington. Hill was even recognized for saving a life after he knocked down a door to stop a man from beating his sister.
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“She probably wouldn't have survived," said Hill. "When you take the oath you are willing to sacrifice yourself for someone you don't know.”
Now, Hill is was working on a new mission.
“I have several friends with special needs children.” Hill is practicing calf roping so he can ride in a police rodeo benefitting the Special Olympics.
Hill is not alone.
“I was raised on a cattle ranch in Arizona,” said Officer Chad Roberts with the Grand Prairie police department. "[Growing up] my grandfather and my parents they taught me: God, country, family are the most important three things.”
Officer Roberts is also a member of the Grand Prairie Mounted Patrol. He hopes the Cowboy Cops rodeo in Fort Worth sends a message to the community and especially young North Texans.
“We really do care about them. We really do want to involve them in everything we do,” said Roberts.
Corporal Cliff Elliott works for the Arlington Police Department and also rides on their mounted patrol.
“This is what I grew up to do,” said Elliott. “This was my dream of being a mounted police officer and doing my job what I love on top of a horse; we’re in Texas so why shouldn’t we?”
Corporal Elliott said for him it’s important to set a good example.
“I know as a kid I looked up to police officers," said Elliott.
Part cowboy but always an officer, these men are working hard to set a good example both in the rodeo arena and on the streets.
“You don't even think about it, you just do it,” said Hill.