Revisiting a submission from 1996 with an excerpt from the author

Bret Belden

December 3, 2018

Twenty-four years ago, a UNH cop changed my son’s and my lives forever when I was a student and single mother pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science. That cop was none other than UNH Police Chief Paul Dean. Thank you, Chief Dean, for being a shining example of all that is good in law enforcement. UNH is lucky to have you at the helm. Full disclosure: I was actually parked illegally on the sidewalk in a part of Forest Park that no longer exists (high dorms are now there). Also, my son had minor dental surgery for an abscessed tooth. Hilarious that I minimized the events for rhyming effect and self-preservation.

Five years after this event, I became a UNH cop where I proudly served until 2005 when I resigned to concentrate on law school. I now work at a non-profit in Massachusetts. I’m proud to share that this Christmas Tale has come full circle. That little boy who looked up to all those cop “elves” is now grown and a federal law enforcement officer aka cop himself.

Last year, I received the most precious gift from my son: a picture of him with Santa and a little boy that looked up to my son the same way he looked up to Chief Dean all those years ago. I am grateful, blessed, and overjoyed to share the side of law enforcement that is not often enough illuminated, its heart. Happy Holidays to all! Enjoy.

By Sabrina R. Bohun, Esq.

UNH Alumna