Saturday, April 04, 2009

Fallen Shields

 

This morning, The City of Pittsburgh was rocked to its core when a gunman holed up in his home in the Stanton Heights section of Pittsburgh opened fire on three Pittsburgh Police officers who responded to his home to investigate a call of a domestic incident.

The three police officers were killed as soon as they attempted to enter the residence.  Killed in action were :  Officers  Stephen Mayhle, and Paul Scuillo, III both with two years on the force and Officer Eric Kelly with 14 years on the force.

Here is the Post Gazette account of the incident

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09094/960660-100.stm

Here is the Trib-Review’s account

http://www.pittsburghlive.com:8000/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_619260.html

There’s an adage that goes:  No one remembers when a person does good.  No one forgets when a person does bad.   We all remember the times that a cop may have showed a little too much attitude when pulling us over of a traffic stop.   We all remember times when a cop may use a tone of voice when talking to us that was a little too intimidating.  We all remember times when cops go bad and let the authority that badge confers turn into a license to abuse and attack the public they have sworn to serve.  We tend to forget that cops are human beings that have the same emotional and mental quirks as us.   We tend to forget that the nature of their job exposes policemen and women to the best and worst of humanity.  Because they are charged with enforcement of the law, more often they are exposed to the latter rather than the former.  We tend to forget that it’s not always easy for a cop to “leave the belt, badge and gun at the station” whenever they are away from the job.

  Police Officers go where angels fear to tread for a salary that most rational thinking people would probably turn up their nose.   For what cops go through, who in their right mind would do it??  Fortunately for us, there are enough people who are willing to do the seemingly irrational and become police officers.  They put on their belt, badge and gun every day and go out into a world where they are viewed with a ever changing mix of grudging respect, admiration, disgust,  outright hatred, and fleeting tolerance.   For sure there are cops that hide behind the badge and use that authority to wreak havoc on the public.  Name one occupation where people don’t use their clout to abuse those they serve or employ?   But I’d like to think that the vast majority of cops are good people who have a thankless job, and try to do it with the best of intentions.   In the next few days, police officers will converge from all over the country to bury three of their own.  I think it would be a nice gesture to go up to a cop and just let him or her know that you appreciate what they do.   And hopefully that appreciation of our police officers will extend till well past the day these heroes are laid to rest.   I pray for the souls of Officers Scuillo, Kelly and Mayhle that God will speed them to His right hand.  And I also pray for the families of those officers that they receive  healing and comfort they deserve in this upheaval.  Resquiat in Pacem, gentlemen and a grateful city thanks you for your service. 

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