Russ Gibb at Random

The real reward of teaching

June 27, 2011

Mr Gibb.
You may not remember me, and Im sure you get emails like this all the time, I was a student of yours at DHS, class of 1985. because of your tufflove type of teaching, you changed my direction in life, I got my self back into my studies, and am the first Patti male to finish school, I am a Detroit Police Officer and have been for over 22 years, I am also the first Patti to finish with a College Degree. I have received many awards along my path as a officer, but because of you have always wanted to be a teacher,, life kinda got going, and as things go I trudged along, I was a member of the swat team, and a sniper with the Dept,, I then moved to the Narcotics unit where I worked for over 11 years. I have been shot 5 times, stabbed once, and received many injurys along the way,, but loved my job,, a few years ago my wife begged me to give up the Narcotics assignment, and asked me to start a family, she stood by me thru the good and bad,,, most bad and full of worry for her, I am now a Instructor for the Fire Arms Training Unit, and the father of a 3 year old baby girl. I teach Fatal Force, when to shoot, and not shoot, along with all firearms qualification for the dept, I am now a lead instructor in the unit. Today a Officer whom I was partner with for many years was in my class, and on break asked me how I can stand teaching these classes day in and day out,,, and if I miss working the street, I do very much, but I told him that I also love teaching, and I have wanted to do so for many years, and I told him how you touched me so many years ago, and without your influence, Im not sure where I would have ended up in this life. I feel I have helped many young Officers make the right decisions in life and death times, and have had these young Officers tell me so and thank me, and I feel I have you to thank for that, and now I want to thank you too. I hope all is well with you, and think you are a great teacher, I am lucky to have had your classes. thanks again. Michael Patti.

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7 Comment(s)

Officer Patti, Thank you for your kind words. russ gibb

--by russ gibb on 6/27/11   Lives: Dearborn  

Mr. Gibb, Congratulations on such a fine recognition. There can be none finer for a teacher!

--by John Higgins on 6/27/11   Lives: Dearborn  

Michael Patti:

Thank you for your contribution towards keeping the streets a little safer. You deserve no less respect and recognition than any Soldier, Marine, Airman or Sailor who is returning from a hostile theater of battle. One better, your fighting that battle in our own neighborhoods and have the wounds to show for it. We are all indebted to you and I, for one, thank you with all of my being for your bravery, dedication, and sacrifice.

Russ Gibb:

Thank you for inspiring this young man to throw himself 100% on the line for the preservation of the law and to protect the lives of total strangers. In addition to taking the brunt of the worst society has to offer, he is sharing his gift of knowledge with others. There is, in my mind, no greater gift one can give to another person than knowledge, other than the inspiration to do something with it. Apparently, like wit me, you have provided Mr. Patti with both.

I suspect that a narcotics officer on the streets of Detroit has to remind him or herself from time to time that they are is working for the greater good in the face of an impossible task. They have to dig down to that place that makes them do the most difficult, yet most important, jobs with distinction. They must do this even though 90% of the people around you might not respect it, understand it, or believe that they benefit from it as a society. People who do this are a special lot who don’t seek recognition for the jobs they do. They just show up from time to time on a website to let their old teacher know that what you were doing had worked. You had given us that shovel that we needed to dig that deep within ourselves. You thought us that when that shovel wears out, get on your hands and knees and keep digging with whatever you have.

As I have told you in the past Russ, You have done this for so many others, as you have with me as well. This is one more example of the incredible benefit you are to our community.

Please enjoy this (one of thousands) lifetime achievement award Uncle Russ, you earned it!

--by Another guy who followed your lead Russ on 6/28/11   Lives: Dearborn  


I was never a student of yours. I have worked with and the students in the video program over my time with Dearborn Public Schools.

Old friend, I miss our conversations, your humor, insights and your laughter.

I have some regrets in life. One of them is not having you as a teacher.


--by Coast Guard Retiree on 7/1/11   Lives: Detroit area  

Russellbob ... You're a hero to me since kiddie time.

--by Jim Dunbar on 7/2/11   Lives: USA  

I had Mr. Russ Gibb as a teacher in a Mass Media class at Dearborn High. Class of '79. He was easily my favorite teacher and I've had many teachers in my life.

--by Ron Giacoma on 7/16/12   Lives: USA  

Mr. Gibb was an inspiration to me, too. Thanks for sharing your story.

--by Joan Michnuk on 12/4/13   Lives: Detroit area  

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