Shannon Rodriguez keeps her husband, George, close to her heart at all times. The supervising engineer for Houston Public Works wears a necklace in the shape of a police badge to show her appreciation for the men and women in blue – and one officer in particular.
George Rodriguez is a helicopter pilot for the Houston Police Department’s air support division. With strict regulations on the number of hours officers can spend in flight, he spends at
least one day a week on the ground protecting the safety of employees at the Bob Lanier Public Works Building at 611 Walker.
And that’s where Shannon and George met. The couple’s eyes met when Shannon passed through the security turnstiles, but it took a life-threatening emergency to bring them together.
At first, George tried traditional tactics to capture Shannon’s attention: eye contact, smiles, small talk. He even sent candy and baked goods up to Shannon’s office. But he was going to have to work harder than that to keep her interest.
One day, Shannon’s boss suffered a cardiac emergency and collapsed outside the 611 Walker. A bystander saw the incident and rendered aid, but George was the first emergency responder on the scene. Weeks later, after the patient’s recovery, George arranged a recognition ceremony for the bystander who gave the first life-saving chest compressions. He invited Shannon to the ceremony and finally asked her out on a date. The rest is history.
Shannon summed it up this way: “That’s what brought us together. The running joke is I wasn’t impressed with the candy. I wasn’t impressed by the fact that he’s a police officer who carries guns, because I grew up shooting firearms. I wasn’t impressed he was a pilot, because all the men in my family are pilots, but then you go and save my boss’ life. Now I’m impressed. I hear you now, I see you now. And here we are, we just celebrated our third wedding anniversary.”