Yesterday, in the early morning hours, a dedicated police officer, husband and father of 2 young children who was much loved and respected in his community was shot. He was out patrolling when he noticed some suspicious activity by a man and went to check it out. The criminal shot the officer, stole his police car and then lead other officers of a high speed chase. He then abandoned the police car and hid under a truck where he was later found and taken into custody. The officers that arrested him showed great restraint knowing that he had just shot one of their own who was at that very moment fighting for his life. Sergeant Greg Moore died later that afternoon of his injuries.
The criminal that did this had a long rap sheet dating back to his teens. He was on felony probation parole at the time of this latest crime and had been in and out of jail for a good part of his life. His past crimes include grand theft, theft, DUI, trespassing, felony assault and battery on a police officer among others. From what I have been able to gather, he was convicted of at least 4 felonies as well as lesser charges. Why was this career criminal even out on the streets? Because we have a failing legal system!
Our legal system needs a complete overhaul. Police officers work hard to arrest these criminals, and overworked prosecutors try to build solid cases to present in court. The overburdened court system has judges with heavy case loads who's hands are tied by laws that need to be revised. I have been in courtrooms where the judge has expressed his own frustration with the laws and felt that the criminal indeed deserved much more punishment than the law currently allowed for.
We need tougher laws for those who break the law. This whole revolving door slap on the wrist for those who commit crimes has got to stop. People need to be help accountable for their actions. Victims need to have justice served. Criminals need to be faced with longer and tougher sentences with each new crime they commit. My personal feeling is if you assault a police officer you should at least get a long stint in jail and if you kill an officer, you should get life or the death penalty. Maybe that would prove more of a deterrent. I don't know, but something has got to change.
For those of us who have loved ones that are police officers, things like what happened yesterday, the recent senseless rioting and looting across the country and the targeting of police officers shakes us to the core. We know that our loved ones are out there trying to keep everyone safe and that they face the possibility of being hurt or killed in the line of duty. Every hug, "I love you", and phone call with them could be our last. This is our and their reality. This is what a family in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho is tragically dealing with. Their whole world has been shattered. A young widow will have to hold it together so that she can comfort her children, one of whom is so very young that she will most likely not have memories of the father that adored her and a son who is in the years when he needs his father's love and guidance. Parents will grieve over having to say goodbye to their son far too soon. Fellow officers will have to go on, knowing that one of their best died in the line of duty and that they could face the same fate. So please, I beg of you, as the proud mother of a police officer, thank an officer for all that they do, pray for their safety and help get laws changed so that our legal system can do the job that it originally was set up to do. Police lives matter...as do all others.