A short read worth while. Aug. 02--Here's one of the top items on the Associated Press Tuesday afternoon California state digest (a sort of menu of stories being picked up by the news cooperative and offered to other members):
"DOBBINS, Calif. -- Two Northern California sheriff's deputies were shot and wounded Tuesday after they responded to reports of an armed and agitated suspect, authorities said. SENT: 250 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 2 p.m., photos."
Down the digest just a little ways was this:
"LOS BANOS, Calif. -- A California police officer screamed that he was hit by gunfire and was bleeding in struggle with a man that sent two officers to a hospital and killed the suspect. By Scott Smith. SENT: 320 words, photos. UPCOMING: New approach, 350 words by 3 p.m."
Two officer shootings in two days. The point is there's a very real danger to serving as a law enforcement officer. And it seems that the digests too often list such incidents. But, then, law enforcement officers are constantly out there where incidents are likely to happen.
As of this writing, those two Yuba County Sheriff's Office personnel were said to be in serious condition and undergoing treatment at a Sacramento-area hospital. Our prayers go out for them.
We don't want to seem like we're taking advantage of the situation and of the drama and the suffering; but we really believe it would behoove all of us to stop, from time to time, and consider what sworn officers of the law do for us.
Of course they're public servants working for public agencies and they are accountable in the same ways all public servants are. But if you're ever wondering what makes cops antsy, a bit defensive, a little less sensitive than some might think ideal ... keep in mind they get shot at.
They put themselves in harm's way and they do that in place of us. If you had an agitated neighbor or passerby or thug that decided to pick on your property, your family, you ... and there was no cop to call to counter the aggression and hold people accountable to the law, then it would have to be you taking charge or you acquiescing.
Cops wearing uniforms and badges and guns and driving marked cars ... they put themselves out there constantly, as they work. They become a thing that represents law and order. But they're people and they have lives and families. And so dozens and dozens of them respond when fellow officers are shot at and wounded, as they should. And we're all stunned to some extent, because the realization hits us at these times that they are out there for us.
Our best wishes to those wounded officers and to their families. And our thanks to all officers.