Deputy Joseph Blair Graduates as Part of Academy Class 429

Compelled to Enter a Career of Service Like His Father, Deputy Joseph Blair Graduates as Part of Academy Class 429

There are innumerable ways to honor one’s parents.  Following in their footsteps, taking the same paths they chose in life, is a beautiful way of showing your value of their choices and honoring their model.  So it is with Joseph Blair, who will graduate tomorrow, July 6, 2018, as part of Class 429 of the Sheriff’s training academy and be sworn in as Deputy Joseph Blair. 
At six years old, Joseph was a very little boy when he lost his father, Deputy Stephen Wayne Blair.  It was Friday, May 12, 1995, when the senior Deputy Blair was fatally shot by a gang member during a pedestrian stop in Lynwood.  His brutal and untimely death changed Joseph’s life forever, but it created a drive in him to be more like the father he missed growing up. 
Today, Joseph is 30 years old.  He looks forward to having a Sheriff's Star badge placed on his uniform tonight during the pinning ceremony.  He will wear it on the left side of his chest over his heart, just like his father did on his first and last days as a peace officer.  After 22 weeks of hard work and concentration, Joseph will finally realize the lifelong dream of becoming a deputy, just like his dad. 
Joseph, of all people considering a career in law enforcement, clearly understands the risk of his new charge.  He is roughly the same age his father was in 1995 and knows all too well the importance of coming home safely to his family.  The new deputy is reminded every day of his father’s sacrifice and of other peace officers around the world who lost their lives in the line of duty.
“Dad, it is great to finally follow in your footsteps in becoming a Deputy Sheriff,” Joseph wrote in a post dated February 25, 2018, on the Officer Down Memorial Page dedicated to his father:
          "Dad, it is great to finally follow in your footsteps in becoming a Deputy Sheriff. I think of you every day and I know you are watching over me. When times are tough I think of you to help me through those tough times. It brings great joy to my heart to hear that you are not forgotten and to hear how much of a difference you made in people's lives within the community as well as the department.

          I am going to do everything I can to make you proud. With the help from you and my fellow academy recruits, I know I can achieve the goal of Deputy Sheriff. I love and miss you Dad.
          You will never be forgotten."
When asked about his career goals, the words “I want to be a patrol deputy” were underscored.  There was no question about what he wants to do.