Life is precious and the loss of even one officer is one too many. But when we experience multiple deaths in a relatively short period of time, it underscores the tremendous impact these losses have on the families, friends and organizations left behind. It is with the deepest of sympathy that we extend our condolences to those who have been touched by tragedy during the past week. Too many good people have been forever lost and the contributions they would have made, the changes to this world they could have brought, will now go unrealized.
The wounds are too raw to even begin to assess what went wrong but we do know this–these officers were simply doing what they felt was the right thing.
- Thibodaux (La.) PD Officer Sidney Simmons was killed while off-duty after his motorcycle collided with a truck.
- LAPD Officer Jose Diance-Cruz died while off-duty after his pickup truck hit a guardrail on the 101 Freeway.
- S/A Robert Moorhead was training for an upcoming memorial ride to honor fallen officers when he was struck by a careless driver in Louisiana.
- St. Louis (Mo.) PD Officer Daryl Hall was killed when he engaged in a gun battle outside a nightclub with multiple suspects.
- Johnson County (Texas) Deputy Clifton Taylor was killed by gunfire during a domestic disturbance.
- Eugene (Ore.) PD Officer Chris Kilcollen was shot and killed by a suspect during a vehicle pursuit.
- Kalamazoo (Mich.) Department of Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata was killed by gunfire after responding to a report of shots fired.
- Bowie County (Texas) Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sherri Jones was shot and killed by a prisoner who overpowered her during a custodial transport.
These losses underscore just how unpredictable and challenging the job of policing is. And this is why we must embrace a mindset of safety and encourage others to do the same.
Please, for the sake of your family and your fellow officer, remember Below 100. We can do it. We must do it. The life you save may very well be your own.
Dale Stockton is a 32-year-veteran of law enforcement, having worked in all areas of police operations and investigations and retiring as a police captain from Carlsbad, California. He is a graduate of the 201st FBI National Academy and holds a Master’s degree in Criminology from the University of California, Irvine. He has served as a Commissioner for California POST, the agency responsible for all California policing standards and training. Dale is the former editor-in-chief of Law Officer Magazine and is the executive director of Below 100.