Brad Moody, then 6, once told his mom he wanted to be a cop.
Why is that? she asked.
“To make this world a better place,” said his cousin, Pastor John Wright, at a memorial service Tuesday for the Richmond police officer.
Moody’s childhood career choice proved prophetic. Friends and family took turns before nearly 2,000 police officers at Sleep Train Pavilion recalling the small things that showed Moody for the honorable, fair and friendly street cop that he was.
“Clearly, Brad’s life ended too soon,” said Richmond Police Officer David Funk, Moody’s partner for years in a two-officer patrol car. “He was a cop’s cop. He loved the job and he did it right. And when things got tough, Brad would just crack that trademark smile and elevate the situation to a better place.”
Moody, 29, died after a fatal wreck near the Richmond Police Department Oct. 5. A canine officer and SWAT team member, Moody spun out in his patrol car on rain-slicked Marina Bay Parkway and crashed into a light standard while responding to a call. His dog, Rico, survived without serious injury.
Moody went off life support and his organs were donated Oct. 7.
Before a huge contingent of officers from around Northern California, including about 100 police dogs, Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus posthumously awarded Moody the department’s Distinguished Service Award.
“Even under the best of circumstances, Richmond can be a challenging place to be Advertisement a police officer,” Magnus said. “But Brad accepted that challenge with enthusiasm and tenacity.”
Funk and Moody were synonymous names for years in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood, where they worked from the same patrol car. Much of the office lore imparted during the two-hour ceremony revolved around their relationship.
“It was Funk and Moody. It wouldn’t matter if you were talking about one or the other or both. If one got in trouble, the other got in trouble,” said Detective Sgt. Lee Hendricsen, who supervised the duo on the street in the early 2000s.
“It wasn’t always roses. There were troubles, as there is with any married couple,” Hendricsen added, eliciting a chortle from the front rows, where nearly every sworn officer employed by Richmond sat. “Usually, it was something dumb (Funk) would do.”
Moody moved on to canine patrol, and Funk this year joined investigations. But the neighborhood remembers, Funk told the crowd.
“Brad always did it right. He was fair and respectful. And the proof of that is on Nevin Avenue in Richmond, between First and Second streets,” said Funk, referring to an impromptu memorial erected there by residents. “I expected to see a memorial on Regatta, but when I found that second memorial it blew me away. It was placed there by the same dope dealers and gangsters Brad used to arrest.”
Moody recently did the research and paperwork to purchase a deployment vehicle for the Richmond SWAT team. He also haggled with Hendricsen, a SWAT supervisor, about changing the uniform.
“He’d just recently gotten these new tan boots, and he wanted to go to them too. Well, I’m a traditionalist. I like black boots and black leather equipment,” Hendricsen said. “I was probably one of the most vocal opponents.”
Message to Brad: You win. The SWAT team will switch to tan boots in his honor, Hendricsen said.
Moody lived in Vacaville with his wife, Susan, and daughters Madison, 3, and Emma, 1. A large police procession from Vacaville to the pavilion closed freeways and roads at times Wednesday morning in Contra Costa and Solano counties.
“Bradley, I am going to miss you, each and every day that passes,” Susan Moody said. “You were my whole entire world, and I can’t believe you are gone.”
The department donated Rico to the family. The dog stayed with Moody during his final moments at the hospital, his wife said.
The memorial was the second at the amphitheater for a Contra Costa County officer who died on duty in just more than a month. On Sept. 11, a memorial was held there for Martinez police Sgt. Paul Starzyk, who was killed trying to arrest a suspect in a domestic dispute.