Posted by: Jennifer Foley Posted date: July 14, 2016
As law enforcement officers turned on the TV and learned of the attack on Dallas officers, our reactions were likely similar. Only we know what it’s like to stand in those police heroes’ shoes. They did not run from the task but pursued, cornered, and eliminated the threat to police and the public.
Many of us that are former police officers, and you as members of POLC know, it could have been any one of us making the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our communities. Every day when you make traffic stops, answer domestics or any call for service, there is the potential for danger to those serving the public as law enforcement officers. Despite that danger, POLC members continue to report and do what is asked of us to keep our communities safe.
We only need to look at what transpired in Berrien County, one of our POLC represented communities, to see how close to home these events occur. A simple prisoner to court detail turns violent and results in a deputy being wounded. Two court bailiffs, who were retired law enforcement officers, respond without hesitation to the sound of gunfire. These heroes make the ultimate sacrifice trying to protect the public and their co-workers. The POLC honors Court Bailiffs Joseph Zangaro and Ronald Kienzle, who reported for what should have been an ordinary day of work and did their duty on behalf of the citizens of Berrien County.
The POLC honors the heroes who also responded and ended the tragic incident in Berrien County.
Despite the valor of officers dealing with crime, death and the worst of society, law enforcement is under unprecedented scrutiny by the media and many groups throughout the country. It is easy to sit back and review the video and declare everything an officer could have or should have done. These sometimes biased reviews fail to account for the actual fluidity of a deadly incident that spirals out of control, and often without warning, in seconds. Some in the media and public are quick to judge and second-guess from the comfort of their offices and homes based on a small portion of information. Even if both sides of the incident are reported ¬ which is often not the case – charges, if any, are not brought until the investigation is complete. Law enforcement officers should be entitled to a full and fair investigation based upon all of the evidence and not subjected to “media trials” based on a short video or alleged witness statement.
The POLC understands the great difficulties of a law enforcement career. We are here to assist you in your times of need. We commend you for reporting every day to a job that can suddenly become deathly dangerous. We honor all of our hero membership who keep society safe.
Thank you for your service! While your job is unpredictable on a daily basis, rest assured the POLC will always be there to support you.