As we celebrate National Police Week May 12 – 18, 2019 our first thoughts and actions should be geared toward memorializing the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Since records have been kept (c. 1791) over 20,000 officers have given their life during the performance of their official duties. This morning as I looked over some of the recent line of duty deaths (LODD) on the Officer Down Memorial Page www.odmp.org several thoughts occurred to me. Just a week or more ago, these fellow officers were going about their daily duties as peace officers in their local communities. They were looking forward to a summer vacation with their family, watching their kids’ baseball games, attending a piano recital, finishing do it yourself projects around the house or planning for their retirement that wasn’t too far off. They were doing the same things that myself and thousands of other current and retired officers did on a daily basis throughout their careers. They surely weren’t planning to sacrifice their life in the service of their community and their fellow man. No law enforcement officer ever plans on dying in the line of duty but we’ve all thought about it before and its become more of a reality over the years as we’ve seen the attitudes toward the police become more hostile by certain segments of our society. As of today, 41 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty in 2019. One is too many, but this figure represents a decrease of 35% for the same period in 2018. We hope this is a trend that will continue. Out of the 41 officers killed this year, 20 have been the result of a felonious act, 18 have been murdered by a criminal armed with a gun. The remainder have been killed by accidental means or by health issues brought on by their performance on the job. Policing is an increasingly dangerous profession and one that not too many people are pursuing anymore. There are ways to mitigate the risks involved. If your agency doesn’t provide the training or equipment that you need to make your job safer get it on your own. We need dedicated professionals to protect our country and our communities and we need them to be safe. There will always be a heavy price to pay by those who stand between the law abiding citizens in the community and the criminal element. Let’s make surethat we all give them the support they need to do their job effectively.
Every day, but this week especially please join FirstGuard LLC in paying tribute to fallen officers and supporting the men and women of law enforcement who “Press the Fight” daily to protect our communities from evil.
Andy R. Hughes
Business Development Manager