Thursday, February 8, 2018

Take A Cop a Cookie!

Eleven years ago a wonderful young NYS Trooper from our parish church was killed by a felon who he stopped for a routine traffic stop. Andrew "A.J." Sperr lost his life that day, taken by a conscience-less person who had just robbed a local bank. They had a getaway car parked on a lonely country road that A.J. patrolled daily... When he pulled them over in a broken down pick-up truck on their way to change cars, he had no idea they'd just robbed a bank of less than $2000.00. In the ensuing shoot-out, A.J. was left to die behind his vehicle, on the side of the road.


I have no words to describe A.J.'s funeral. I wasn't there. There was no room in our large church that holds over 1200 people.... there was no room in the overflow locations in the parish hall or school.... there was no room in the parking lots. On the roads. On the rooftops, filled with fellow officers... An outpouring of love and grief for this youngest son in a family of eleven children... an outpouring of love for the men and women who don a vest and go to work to keep the normal folks safe.

The desolate spot where A.J. was killed is no longer desolate. As shown in this article, the spot has been turned into a glorious park. A.J. Sperr Memorial Park.

It's beautiful.

It's inviting.

It's clean and nice and open to the public to stop as you're cruising down I-86 (old Rt. 17 through the Southern Tier, the "Southern Tier Expressway" near where I've set dozens of books) and a sign invites you to stop at it along the highway.... 

I stopped there last year. Just to see. To pray. To think. I had written the Grace Haven series of books for Love Inspired and used the first names of officers killed in the line of duty for all the male characters... a small tribute to the people who risk so much for me. For mine. For all of us.

The day I stopped on my way home from NYC there was a wedding going on in one part of the park.

Kids were playing on the playground.

A photographer was shooting pics of groomsmen, bridesmaids, guests...

Life shimmered where death had prevailed.

It was beautiful.

I cried.

I didn't know A.J. personally. I didn't have to. I knew some of his family, their friends, their in-laws... I knew the pain that reverberated through our church and our community. And I saw those shots of men and women in blue, standing on rooftops, praying.

Building the playground....
The outpouring of love from the towns and businesses along I-86 was amazing... and still is there, evident in the beautiful park memorializing the courage of a young man, just doing his job.

So yesterday, after hearing about another young officer gunned down in Colorado Springs (the third Colorado officer killed in the last five weeks) grandson Logan and I baked cookies and brownies. We took them to the Sheriff's substation to Take a Cop a Cookie.... Officers. Sheriffs. Deputies. Troopers... Anyone who stands for law and order and justice in a free land should be respected. The few bad apples do not define the strength of a good police force... And they get sorted out and tossed aside.

It should never be open season on cops, and those of us who respect police, who believe in the order of law, need to let our voices be heard, loud and clear. 

Cub Scout Logan Blodgett armed with "Thank You" cookies!

And it never hurts to take a cop a cookie!

Multi-published inspirational author Ruthy Logan Herne has worked with multiple officers and deputies over the years... and now has several young deputies in her extended family and friends... and she wants every one of them to come home at night to their wives... kids.... moms.... girlfriends.... dads.... She writes from her farm in Western New York and it's no mistake that she uses lawmen in a whole lot of books... because they make great heroes.  Friend Ruthy on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or stop by her website
She loves to chat with people! 


  1. Amen and AMEN, Ruthy. Although, I'm annoyed with you for making me cry. The war on our law enforcement breaks my heart and sickens me. These men and women who willingly lay down their lives to protect us deserve better. They deserve respect. Higher wages. And cookies and brownies. Way to go Logan and way to go Ruthy. Now I have to go get a tissue.

    1. Aw, every time I think of A.J. behind that car I cry... I can't imagine money meaning more than a person's life. And how heinous to sit there and know you're going to shoot a man. To kill him.

      But Mindy, out of that horrible past came such good. The outpouring of people, of businesses, of love is absolutely amazing to see in this beautiful park... and while I wish Andrew was here, working his acres, showing his mom how to run tractor and feed horses, I know his life ended up meaning something even more to so many more people. Larger than life in death... but I hate that it happened.

      Now I need tissues, too!

  2. What a great tribute this community has made for this fallen officer!

    Several years ago, soon after we moved here, two officers were shot and killed by a young man who intended to "commit suicide by cop," and succeeded. All three of those men died tragic deaths that seemed so senseless.

    The place where this occurred wasn't on a lonely road, but on one of the busiest intersections in town, in the middle of a neighborhood. There is a memorial there now, with a spot to sit and reflect on what happened.

    What a special thing for you and Logan to do.

    1. I love that the memorials remind us of sacrifice. Of life and love. But also of cruelty and anger. I will never understand that mentality...

      And we've done this before but not in a long time and I realized I was being remiss... that we hadn't done it since 2016... and I look at the growing tide of negative press against police from some circles and I thought Ruthy, get your oven fired up and show these men and women some love!!!

      And the commander was so nice to Logan... he shook his hand and gave him a deputy "star" badge...

      Which is now tucked in a "special" spot.

      And a memory is made.

  3. What a powerful post. Devastating and uplifting all at the same time. Love how the community rallied. That monument is stunning in it's peacefulness. A fitting tribute to someone who vowed to uphold the peace. You made me cry too, Ruthy. And I love your cookie tribute. I'm sure that blessed the officers in so many ways.

    1. Aw, thank you, Kav... it makes me cry, too. The Sperr family is wonderful... they're just enough older than Dave and me that our kids were at opposite sides of the age spectrum... A.J. was about the same age as my two oldest.... To lose a child is so grievous.

      And to have someone willfully take a life... I can't even.

      I'm glad you stopped by today. Good words to think about. Pray about.

  4. <3 Ruth, Great post as always. Which of your books are set in that area? I have a little collection I need to add to. :)

  5. A beautiful post, Ruthy. Y'all were so sweet to take the cookies!