Now, with the most recent murder of the five police officers in Dallas making headlines across the world, communities everywhere are reaching out to show support for law enforcement and joining together with one another to grieve.
According to national news reports, the slain officers were military veterans, husbands and fathers --- who like so many others in similar killings --- died senseless deaths while serving and protecting their communities.
In case they lose confidence or motivation in light of these recent violent and deadly attacks across the nation, we need to rally behind all our local police, including: Vigo County Sheriff's Office, Terre Haute Police Department, Indiana State Police and Indiana Conservation Officers of the Department of Natural Resources.
Our community joins many others in attempt to move forward from the latest tragic events and heartbreak while information continues to unfold on the Thursday Dallas ambush targeting officers, That thought prompts me to now reflect upon a few recent ICN stories that bring the reality closer to home, by touching upon timeless comments previously made during local police ceremonies.
Terre Haute Police Department Chaplain Dan Walls told the crowd in attendance during the National Police Week ceremony held in May that approximately 144 officers lose their lives in the line of duty each year. He says most people tend to become united in sadness when they hear the news.
"When we have a line of duty death, we're all united -- in the pain and suffering of that death," Walls said during the annual event to honor fallen officers.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts speaks at 2015 Vigo County prayer vigil for law enforcement / ICN file video
It's apparently become a hate crime, where attackers target individuals based on a bias for a group.
Officers have been attacked for the uniforms they wear and what they represent, currently deployed in the military Chief of Police John Plasse said during the Terre Haute fallen heroes ceremony last year..
"Although we are blessed to live and work in the great community that we do, there are still people here who wish to do us [police] harm," Plasse said back then, asking officers to remain vigilant and to look out for one another.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts agrees with Plasse. Watts gave an inspirational speech at a prayer vigil for law enforcement on the Vigo County Courthouse lawn last September.
"The Wabash Valley is the best place to be a police officer -- and that's because you people like us," he said, addressing the large crowd. He added that community support means much to local law enforcement officers, noting that other areas aren't as fortunate to experience encouragement where they work.
Emergency professionals are prepared to respond to dangerous scenes routinely -- such as a when a THPD officer resorted to shooting an uncooperative suspect in Terre Haute last October, allegedly in self-defense while protecting surrounding citizens. That incident had just followed two back- to -back homicides.
Even in chaotic situations such as those, officers have a continued commitment to ensure the safety and security of the community they serve, currently acting Chief of Police Shawn Keen said at the time.
It's reassuring to have their continued commitment despite threats they often face, and it needs to be reciprocated. It's essential that local police agencies continue to have our support and respect as each day and shift presents challenges for all law enforcement officers.
Our community needs every single officer out there. I can say, just based on my personal experiences and going by what city neighborhood I live in --- I count on their protection.
Journalist, Terre Haute
Lucy Perry, 46, enjoys writing about issues in her hometown. She periodically expresses personal opinions in her blog, Terre Haute Times.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141