By Diane Summers
As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we recall our thoughts and feelings regarding this tragic event and what we were doing on this fateful day.
One of UHD’s own Criminal Justice Cadets happened to be working in New York City on that date, and was thrown into a situation that she couldn’t have imagined the day before.
Baytown Police Officer and UHD Criminal Justice Cadet, Luzette Watkins, thought that this Tuesday was a normal work day—just as any other. Working in the department of corrections, she recalls visiting her boss in his office when a loud explosion interrupted their conversation. As they turned to look out his window they saw the effects of the first plane that had entered the World Trade Center. Without hesitation, they both sprang into action.
Although Watkins had no protective gear she ran to the area and remained on the streets attempting to move people away from harm. Her role was to keep people out of the area—including family who knew loved ones were in the World Trade Center. She remained calm, and her focused intensity on her job was a reassuring presence for hysterical people.
Watkins demonstrated what we saw in so many police officers, fire fighters and law enforcement officers on that day: compassion, kindness and tireless assistance to those who needed it most. Watkins explains that there is something about the uniform that that transforms an officer. “This is what the job was made for, to put others first.”