Last Sunday a good friend of mine was killed on his way to work. Mark Zylawy, known as Z-Man, was assigned to be my coach after I had graduated from the basic academy. I worked with him during June and July of 2007. He was a great officer, and a great mentor. I will never forget the lessons that he taught me during our time together.
He had a way of making everybody feel as if they were the most important person in the world. He was able to help me work through all of the little, and not so little, concerns that I had as a new officer. He went out of his way to help solve problems that had occurred during my hiring process. I remember that he always told me he was cleaning up Northeast Portland, one crack pipe at time.
The funeral was amazing. It was awesome to see the very personal side of Z-Man. It was also awesome to see the emotion that flowed freely for Z-Man from a bunch of cops.
He was truly one of the great people that have been police officers. He will be missed!