I first met Sgt. Jesse Foroi in 1970 when I was a 21-year-old cadet in the Police Academy.
He approached me and several of my classmates in the cafeteria, as we were on a short break between classes. With a pleasant smile on his face, he informed us that we were much needed on the streets and to hurry up and graduate.
That brief encouraging comment just seemed to make our day.
Two years later, Sgt. Foroi was assigned to the original Traffic Enforcement Division on the evening shift where I was working at the time.
Our shift commander was Lt. E. J. Smith. And Sgt. W. S. Weaver, aka “Mother,” was the senior sergeant. I can honestly say, without reservation, that myself and many others, whom I won’t mention, gave these three fine men their fair share of supervisory headaches.
We molded them into the paragons of excellence that they were without really knowing that our erring ways were benefiting them so much.
My, what a family we all were until our division was disbanded in 1980. Sgt. Foroi went to the Accident Division and I went to Radio Patrol Southwest, got promoted and then went to Southeast, assigned to 11 district.
Jesse and I kept in close contact over the years and would occasionally meet for dinner when our shifts overlapped. Every now and then, Jesse would have strange cravings for certain foods: a can of beans and a 1015 onion, consumed on a park picnic bench, four Shipley’s bear claws and a quart of chocolate milk.
And another time he consumed an entire sheet cake from the Fiesta bakery. Thanks, Jesse, for excluding me from those culinary delights.
Oh, well, whatever gets you through the shift because one of Jesse’s favorite sayings was, “Pard, it’s a jungle out there!”
I retired in 2005, whereupon Jesse and I phoned each other on a monthly basis until several weeks before he passed.
I knew a Texas Ranger whose favorite term of endearment was “He’s a good man to ride the river with.” This was certainly befitting Jesse Foroi, the man of steel, with a cast iron belly and a heart as big as Texas.
Jesse, it was a great honor having served with you and also to have been your friend. I know you and “Miss Betty” are together again with our Savior in heaven.
You and the Marines guard the street well.
You will be dearly missed by all the people whose hearts you touched. But, you will never be forgotten. God bless you, my good friend, and SEMPER FI.