He hefted 150-pound dummies, took pepper spray in the face, scaled fences and maneuvered squad cars through hairpin turns. Some people kidded Darold Russell that police academy is no place for a septuagenarian. Russell, 71, didn’t listen.
Last year, he completed 762 hours of officer training in remembrance of his only son, a Roseville, Minn. police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty in May 1982. Bruce Russell was 28 when a gunman fired four shots at him after a high-speed car chase ended in a ditch. One shot dodged his bulletproof vest and entered under his left armpit. He left behind his wife, Linda, and a baby daughter. Twenty-two years later, Darold Russell traveled to Washington, D.C., in May for National Police Week. He dressed in full police uniform and saluted his son’s etched name at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.