My heart skipped a beat yesterday as I heard the news that yet another American police officer had been shot in the Line of Duty. This time our thin blue line turning red was local. He was one of our off-duty undercover Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officers who had his son in the car with him doing a normal routine in America: a parent on the way to dropping off his son at school before going to work. But today he saw something on the road that caused him to make a traffic stop. Call it his gut or just good police training and instinct. According to JSO he went into action and first grabbed his tactical vest and put it on. The five shots that sprayed his windshield hitting him and barely missing his son in the passenger seat were real. Real bullets in broad daylight on a normal local American street. The officer shot nine shots back apparently missing the suspect who fled the scene and was apprehended a short time later.
The stop was near a train track and apparently some of the altercation took place on that active railroad track. So when the officer was shot and called for help local residents did just that. With a train coming in the distance they helped move the officer and his car out of the way and provided first aid while waiting for our fire department and a medical helicopter to arrive to transport him. As they should.
He is in critical but stable condition but will have a long way to go back to normal.
And so do we. You see it has become open season on cops lately with our current president’s apathy toward law enforcement. And that to me is personal. Throughout the last 20 + years here in Jacksonville I have had numerous ride alongs with many JSO officers. I have also gotten to know many of them through political campaigns and day to day life events. Many I am proud to call my friends. They are good people trying to make a difference through their life choices every day in Jacksonville. They have earned my trust. Together with our local military they are part of our first line of defense team that do their best to keep us safe. A difficult task this day in this week just after wrapping up the second workplace shooting incident.
Shootings that drive home to me in this season of presidential campaigning and terrorist attacks that the only one who has spoken in support of keeping us and those I most care about safe has been Donald Trump.