It was an honor to write this story. Thanks to the courageous and fiercely kind Andrew Hager, and to Police Chief Bryan Taylor and his entire department for being, as Mr. Rogers would say, the helpers.
The Monday before Thanksgiving, I meet Andrew Hager in the parking lot of the Lawrenceburg, Kentucky Police Department on Woodford Street. It is a little after noon—sunny, cold and breezy. Chief Bryan Taylor welcomes us in and leads us to a bright, window-lit training room where we can talk in private.
The first thing Andrew tells me is this: Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of his daughter’s death from an overdose. She was 27.
“I’d like to tell you I was a good father,” he says, looking away, out the windows. “I’d like to tell you I’m in the pictures, but I wasn’t. I got the call that said, hey, you need to get to UK [hospital], and they took me into this little consolation room with just me and my daughter’s lifeless body. A lot of pain, shame, and guilt. You see, we suffer from an illness and it is so cunning.”
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