Officer Down:more than just a news story
It just never gets easy to hear. In my city, my state, my country or elsewhere, the news stories about LEOs killed in the line of duty chill my blood and stop my heart. From traffic stops to domestic disputes to stand offs and active shooters, LEOs give their lives far too often in defense of the innocent. LEOs form the first response and the last line of defense.
Since the murder of Georgia Trooper Chad LeCroy, I received numerous emails from friends and LEOs that contain calls to action. Trooper LeCroy’s murderer is a career criminal who showed no sign of stopping his criminal pursuits. People have asked me, “Why he would shoot a LEO? Was he afraid of going back to prison?” I am confident that he was not afraid of returning to prison. Given his treatment in the criminal justice system, he would have no reason to fear that result. The truth behind Trooper LeCroy’s murder will likely remain unknown. Every LEO reading this knows that you will never really get the truth from a criminal. Looking for the truth in the words of a cop killer is a pointless exercise.
I never forget the LEOs who put on their uniforms and went to work hours after Trooper LeCroy’s funeral. As always, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. For many LEOs, it is the focus on the mission that keeps all of us moving past such tragedies. For most, I suspect, it is our faith in God. Whatever the source of our strength, LEOs continue to rise to the challenge and remain true to their pledge to uphold the law.
What can we do to move forward? I encourage all LEOs to remain focused. Get involved. Rest assured that you are not alone. Visit websites devoted to LEOs to share your opinions and find kindred spirits. I enjoy www.officerresource.com, the national and Georgia FOP websites, and BLUtube. Meet with your local, state and national legislators. Keep them informed. Sponsor and support legislation. You will find support for your causes. For instance, Trooper LeCroy’s murderer was placed on probation several times even after arrests for possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The National Rifle Association has pressed for mandatory prison sentences for these crimes for years.
I will write in future articles about some efforts to change Georgia law to keep us all safe. In the meantime, stay focused. Be strong and know that the public supports you. Find strength in the courage and strength of others like the family of Trooper LeCroy who greeted an endless line of visitors in the funeral home. Remain steadfast in your conviction that your efforts are selfless. Your efforts change the lives of others.
I looked into the eyes of Trooper LeCroy’s youngest son at the funeral home as he stood at attention wearing gray pants, a blue shirt and Georgia State Patrol collar insignia. His courage inspired me and it was an honor to meet him. I know he will one day understand what it means to be the son of a hero. In the interim, we will all work to prevent our LEO family from losing another warrior.