Brent Hopkins came to the Daily News as a cub reporter with unbounded enthusiasm and a nice touch on light features and grew over the years into a pro who could handle every kind of story, especially those that could touch people’s hearts.
He was an aggressive leader of the newsroom’s union who cared more about the success of the paper than many of the front office executives who ran the paper.
The series of stories he did with photographer Hans Gutknecht about the shooting of LAPD Officer Kristina Ripatti by gang members, the long and painful process of her recovery and finally the joy she and her husband LAPD Officer Tim Pearce felt when she gave birth to a son despite being partially paralyzed was among the best journalism the Daily News produced in recent years.
He captured not only the personal drama of Ripatti but put us all in touch with what it means to be a cop, to be part of a family of officers who put their lives on the line to protect and serve us.
On Friday, Brent Hopkins, the former cub reporter, became a rookie cop. He graduated form the L.A. Police Academy after six months of grueling training. We’re lucky to have people like him keeping us safe.