Put yourself in our shoes

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dear Editor, The Advertiser,

This letter is regarding all the comments that are being directed toward law enforcement and our Sheriff.

Regardless of your opinions about the Chilton County Sheriff, his deputies, local municipalities and finances, think about this: lives are on the line, both civilian and law Enforcement. We must have the equipment needed to protect everyone. The following passage was taken from http://crimecasefiles.com.

“FBI Releases Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2007”

According to preliminary statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 57 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty during 2007. Geographically, 31 of the victim officers were killed in the South, nine in the West, nine in the Midwest, and seven in the Northeast. One officer was slain in Puerto

Rico. The total number of officers killed is nine higher than in 2006. By circumstance, 16 deaths occurred as a result of ambush situations, 16 died during arrest situations, 11 were killed while handling traffic pursuits/stops, six died responding to disturbance calls, three while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances, three during tactical situations, one while conducting investigative activities, and one while handling and transporting prisoners.

A breakdown of weapons used in these slayings revealed that firearms were used in the majority of incidents. Of the 55 officers killed with firearms, 38 were killed with handguns, nine with shotguns, and eight with rifles. Two officers were killed with vehicles.

At the time they were killed, 35 law enforcement officers were wearing body armor. Eleven officers fired their weapons, and 14 of the slain law enforcement officers attempted to fire their weapons. Four officers had their weapons stolen, and two officers were slain with their own weapons.

The 57 law enforcement officers were killed in 51 separate incidents in 2007. Fifty of the 51 incidents have been cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

In addition to the officers who were feloniously killed, 83 law enforcement officers were accidentally killed in 81 separate incidents while performing their duties in 2007. This number is 17 higher than the previous year’s number.

The FBI will release final statistics in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s annual report, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, which will be published on the Internet in the fall of this year.

Whether or not you agree with everything that we (police officers) do or don’t do, please remember: we get paid very little to do the jobs that most can’t or refuse to do. We do it because the citizens need law enforcement. We are not perfect and have never professed to be perfect.

We do the best we can with what we have. We leave our wives, husbands, children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters at night and we don’t know if we will make back home or not. Believe it or not, there are people out there who want to kill us just because we wear the uniform.

So while everyone continues to bash the Sheriff and the Commission, we are still patrolling and doing the best we can. Would you stop a vehicle at 2 a.m. on a dark county road by yourself, with backup at least 20 minutes away, to arrest drunk driver, to seize drugs or to arrest someone on a felony warrant? Think about it. We do it daily. Some officers work two or three jobs just trying to make ends meet for their family. I encourage you to search the Internet on law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. There are more videos than you can count that show the danger of our job and why we ask for the equipment we need. Watch the videos of the officers being killed “at work” and see if you still feel the same about what we do. I would imagine if you went to work and people were kicking, cussing and spitting on you just because you were there, I don’t think many of you would stay very long. And yes we knew this before we went to the academy, that’s what separates us. We are willing and prepared to take a bullet for anyone at anytime. That’s what we do.