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Blue lives matter

Is it time to push the panic button?

It’s not highly secretive information that we have become a society spiraling out of control, perhaps sinking to depths never before witnessed. Our news sources are filled daily with murder and mayhem; stories now so common that it appears there are a growing number of people that have completely lost touch with reality and no longer possess the value of cherishing human life.

When those values sink as low as attempting – and too often succeeding – to murder or maim an individual sworn to protect lives, then that says a lot about the wrong direction our morals are taking.

In the past 10 days, two law enforcement officers in our state have become the latest victims of what can best be described as an all-out assault on our brave men and women in blue.

On Jan. 9, Raleigh Police Officer Charles Ainsworth was shot multiple times after answering a call regarding a possible carjacking.

On Monday of this week, NC Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Harrell was shot in the face upon making a traffic stop in Wilson County on a driver who was illegally towing a car.

Fortunately, both officers survived, but others in the “blue brotherhood” haven’t been as fortunate as three have been shot and killed in the first two weeks of 2019 – Master Police Officer Joseph William Shinners of the Provo, Utah Police Department; Officer Natalie Becky Corona of the Davis Police Dept. in California; and Sgt. Wytasha Carter of the Birmingham Police Dept. in Alabama.

While acts of violence, to include deadly force, against law enforcement officers can be traced to the days of the wild west, they are increasing at an alarming rate.

According to the FBI, from 1980-2014 an average of 64 law enforcement officers are murdered each year in the line of duty. That average has followed suit since 2014: 54 feloniously killed in 2015; 64 in 2016; and 66 in 2017.

Last year, 47 law enforcement officers across the US were shot and killed in the line of duty, to include NC Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin K. Conner, murdered on Oct. 17 after pulling over a driver for speeding.

Not all of these senseless slayings in 2018 involved officers handling hardcore criminal cases. In June, two deputy sheriffs in Kansas were shot and killed while transferring an inmate to a court hearing. A Florida deputy was murdered while responding to a home regarding an animal abuse case. Two other Florida deputies were gunned down in April while eating lunch in a restaurant.

All law enforcement officers understand the risk they take each and every day they put on their uniform, but yet they continue the thankless job of “protect and serve.”

God help us all if the day ever comes where those brave men and women in blue decide the risk is no longer worth taking. The criminal element they protect us from now will then have free reign to inflict unspeakable pain, suffering and death on law-abiding citizens.

The time is now to take a stand and support our law enforcement officers. Without them, our lives and our property are in grave danger.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald