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Resource honors our fallen police officers

Have you ever heard of Gordon William Best, Daniel Marcus Mobley, Jeff Bain, Nicholas Howell or Randall Sims?

No?

How about Jonathan David Price, Jay Hughes, David Sicknick, David G. Crumpler or William Lyle Gardner?

Perhaps Steven Reighard, Arturo Villegas, Luis X. Salaman-Conde or maybe Adam Gibson?

Thought so.

The names have stories. The aforementioned along with 105 others comprise a very special group: 2021 Honor Roll of Heroes. What they had in common was that they were — notice past tense — public servants, members of law enforcement now comprising the total line of duty deaths in the United States through April.

There is an organization which created an “Officer Down Page.” Have you ever heard of it? No? Thought so. Its motto: “Remembering All Law Enforcement Heroes.” The group diligently maintains a valuable resource where anyone can go to be informed and, of course, be humbled. It is especially important during these current turbulent times that our officers get the respect and positive exposure they deserve.

It is downright pathetic the way so many throughout our country treat our officers. Cops are hated by so many. Are there rogue — bad — cops? Sure there are. Every profession has bad people. But for every single “bad apple” cop there are spacious, if you will, orchards full of great cops. We certainly have them in our own area. When you see a cop, thank him or her. Not too many of us put our very lives at risk each and every time we step out of the door.

According to the Law Enforcement Line of Duty Deaths site, officers died in a variety of ways so far this year: 9/11 related illness, 1; assault, 4; auto crashes, 7; COVID 19, 63; duty-related illness, 2; gunfire, 19; heart attack, 5; motorcycle crash, 1; stabbed, 2, struck by vehicle, 6; and vehicular assault, 9. Of course, the COVID deaths likely could be traced to officers catching the virus while out serving the public. In 2020, there were 362 line of duty deaths — 45 by gunfire. This year’s dead include 10 female officers. The average age of the deceased is 50. The average tour of duty is 19 years, two months. Deaths have occurred in 27 states and Puerto Rico and even included two tribal police deaths. Three officers have died in Ohio. There has been six K9 line of duty deaths this year including three by gunfire. Heroes of a different kind for sure.

So the next time you hear whiny cop bashers tell them to visit https://www.odmp.org/. And then tell them to shut up.

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