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COLUMN: Loss of Officer Reminds Us to Honor Those Who Serve and Protect

January 10, 2018
Weekly Column and Op-Ed

In our nation’s capital, there is a beautiful memorial of sculpted lions keeping watch that honors to the nation’s law enforcement officers. Among the quotes set in the memorial’s stone is one from Tacitus: "In valor there is hope."

Tuesday, January 9th was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It is a day that we recognize the service and sacrifice of the brave men and women in blue who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. We all should take the time to say “thank you” to a police officer we see, or buy coffee or lunch for the officer standing in line behind us. It is a day we express our gratitude for their public service as guardians of our society.

The Law Enforcement Oath of Honor describes the high purpose to which so many officers have dedicated themselves: “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the constitution, my community, and the agency I serve.”

This year, the national day to honor police officers has a tragic significance for our entire state. Last Sunday, Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney, a 34-year old Navy veteran who had been with the force since 2014, made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting his community. Deputy McCartney was responding to a home invasion and while giving chase to a suspect, he was shot and killed.

Deputy McCartney leaves behind a wife and three sons who are four, six, and nine years old.

In 2017, 128 officers across the nation lost their lives in the line of duty.

Not only do we owe it to these men and a women to honor their memory, but we owe a debt to the hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers who wake up every morning and make the choice to put our safety ahead of their own. We owe them a debt of gratitude, and in their valor, we find hope.