When former Metro Sergeant Stan Cooper was killed this morning while on duty as a court security officer at the Lloyd D. George U.S. District Courthouse, he left behind many current and former colleagues as friends and admirers. In the fraternity of law enforcement, he was considered a true professional, a quiet, distinguished man who was reliable and proud of his role in law enforcement.
“We had a great camaraderie. I can’t tell you how much camaraderie existed,” said retired Metro Sgt. Dave Freeman, who came out of retirement to join Cooper at the courthouse. “That’s what keeps people either in the military or police agencies, it’s the camaraderie. These are high quality people you just don’t find everyday.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, security was increased at all federal buildings. “When that happened,” Freeman said, "they more or less made the jobs permanent."
“We were very determined to protect that building that first year,” he added.
The security officers were highly experienced and well qualified, Freeman said, adding, “You couldn’t believe the background checks they did.”
Freeman retired from the courthouse in 2004.
He said, “Stan lived by himself out in Sandy Valley. He lived on a little ranch, maybe a couple acres. He loved horses, so he lived in Sandy Valley and he commuted.”
Added Freeman, “Stan was someone you could rely on implicity. Stan’s word was his bond. You could take it to the bank. He was so professional in so many ways.”
At Metro, Freeman trained Cooper to become a motorcycle officer in Metro’s Traffic Division. Cooper became a sergeant, and Freeman retired as a sergeant.
Freeman said he was gratified that Cooper received a motorcyle escort to the morgue from his Metro brothers.
Freeman, 66, served at Metro 31 years.
In Prescott, Ariz., former Metro Undersheriff Steve Waugh recalled Cooper as one of the best officers with which he’d ever worked. They worked side by side in the Traffic Division. Waugh even visited Cooper while he was building a mountain cabin at Mount Charleston, he recalled.
Waugh is marking his fifth year as Sheriff of Yavapai County, Ariz.
“I remember him pretty well,” Waugh said. “I worked with him in traffic. He was just one heckuva nice guy. He was about as nice a guy as you’s want to run into. He was just one of those guys who did the job that was given to him. He was a real pleasant person to be around. It’s a shame this happened.”