DENVER – So far this year, seven police officers have been killed in the line of duty in the United States. Two sheriff's deputies have died in Colorado within the last four weeks. Many people are asking what’s going on and what changes will come about because of this?
Retired Denver Police Sergeant Steve Warneke, who is now an award winning author, said, “One officer is too many. Anytime a guardian of our way of life, the symbols of peace and truth are gunned down, it should be concerning to every American.
He said the police community has been hit especially hard because it is a tight knit group. “Police are family, it’s very difficult to go to work. It’s very difficult to go to work and not know whether you will return from your tour with your brothers. Yes, these deaths have taken a toll on police, but men and women join the police department because they are brave and they will respond to these things even though bad things are happening.”
Warneke said the killing of another Colorado law enforcement officer should bring about change. First, he hopes the community will show it’s appreciation for the men and women in blue.
“It`s important the community show up I mean as a police man for 15 years, the time when my heart was most filled with a sense of satisfaction from doing this job was driving the funeral route and looking at tens of thousands of people who came out to salute and wave flags and show support for police ... to know the line of cars showed all their brothers and sisters were out there, having their back doing their job. It`s an important piece of the recovery, the healing to see that.”
Second, he hopes more will be done to protect officers.
“There’s always budgetary concerns at a police department. More could be done in funding from federal government to state to give police departments money so they can afford equipment that reduces deaths of police officers.”
And he says technology can help bring about change. “When you can send a robot in to scout a room out to see if a suspect is in there, instead of sending a person in there, you are saving lives. Technology certainly will and has been important and the quicker they can implement the technology, the safer the officers will be.”
But he says the one thing that won’t change: their resolve to do the important work of protecting the citizens they signed up to serve. “Cops are going to respond to calls, they`re not going to hesitate because they are scared, that`s the nature of the job, and when men and women sign up for this, and I did it for 15 years, you go to those calls it because that`s someone`s mother. That`s someone`s grandmother. You signed up to protect them.”
You can read more about his book here.