As a retired police officer and lifelong police trainer, Police Memorial Week is always a difficult time for me.
Having spent most of my life protecting others and training officers to keep themselves safe, it is always sad and painful to learn about an officer who made the ultimate sacrifice of his or her own safety while attempting to safeguard others.
The truth of the matter is that the deaths of these good men and women must never be seen as failures but rather as part of the continuing attempt of police to accomplish our primary duty. Sometimes we are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The bottom line is that the deaths of officers are the sad and tragic cost of doing the business of law enforcement – the cost of keeping our society safe. Officers need to do their best to keep citizens safe while providing for their own safety. Police administrators, supervisors, and trainers need to provide our officers with the best leadership, policies, training, and equipment possible.Citizens need to remember that law enforcement officers are “flesh and blood” human beings attempting to do a very difficult job.
We must always remember that these fallen heroes are the ones who have paid the ultimate price in doing the jobs that we have asked them to do. We mourn their passing and we pray for their souls, but we also celebrate their decisions to courageously continue the proud tradition of “manning” the Thin Blue Line.