Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mourning the loss of one of our own

Today is a difficult day for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. Today we mourned the loss and celebrated the life of Officer Peter Aretakis, an officer who served nearly 20 years on this department. Pete lost his battle with cancer on June 19, and his funeral services were today.

Pete was assigned to the North Patrol Division, Watch III. He was diagnosed with cancer in October 2008. He had been undergoing chemotherapy, and in February of this year, it appeared to be working so well that Pete returned to work on limited duty.

Pete was a highly respected and much-loved veteran of KCPD. Shortly after he started chemotherapy this past November, his fellow officers at North Patrol decided to show their camaraderie by shaving their heads since Pete was losing his hair in chemo (a photo of this event is above, with Pete Aretakis in the barber's chair and Officer Pete Shultz shaving Officer Aretakis' head). More than 20 of them went bald that day, including a female officer who cut off a 29-inch braid and shaved her head like her male counterparts to show her support for Pete.

This is a difficult loss for our department, but it is much more difficult for Pete’s family, including his wife and two boys. Our thoughts and prayers are with them for peace and comfort at this time.