I’ve held off offering an opinion on the deaths in Tucson or voicing my views on the near fatal shooting of Gabby Gifford and the wounding of thirteen others. I’m an opinionated woman. Anyone that knows me will tell you so. I’ve personally been involved in a media blitz where any news, right or wrong, was latched onto and spread rabidly. I refused to participate then and I refuse now.
I have been in contact with friends and fellow Officers from Tucson Law Enforcement. We are not talking about blaming Sarah Palin, Daily Kos or Clarence Dupnik. We are blaming the gunman who systematically took these lives. We are talking about the tragedy, the lives lost and the lives forever changed by the events on Saturday. We’re talking about Judge John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, Dorwin Stoddard, Christina Greene, Dorthy Murray, and Phyllis Scheck. They had hopes and dreams and their loved ones want them back by their sides.
We are talking about the heroes who took down the gunman with risk to their own lives and stopped his killing rampage. These people are not cops or trained in any way to handle a situation such as this, but they did. What an incredible inspiration they are.
We are talking about the conditions of our mental health needs in our State. The men and women we deal with daily that worry us and leave us feeling dread when we drive away. We pray they do not harm innocent people, and we know there is nothing within the law we can do at this time.
We are hugging our families and praying for the loved ones of the lost. We are feeling extreme pressure because the President is coming to Tucson on Wednesday. We know that when ever a nut case commits a crime such as this it brings others of like mind out in full force. We want our President and Commander in Chief safe in our backyard.
Sarah, if you thought your map might incite someone to open fire and shoot innocent people you would not have posted it. The same goes for Daily Kos and the political words posted there. Sheriff Dupnik, your close friend Judge Roll was shot and killed and you are angry and frustrated by the events which happened on your watch. Representative Gifford would never have hosted such an event if she knew lives were in danger, and one way or another, Law Enforcement would not have been involved. I may not agree with all your words but your pain comes through.
We’ve given our moments of silence. Now let us not give the media and small minded politicians on the left and right, the chance to confuse or sway our feelings about this tragedy.
Instead, let us continue to offer prayers and support for the friends and families of Rep. Gifford and all the injured, as well as the classmates and family of Christina Greene the youngest victim, and the five other individuals who had their lives cut brutally short.
Bad Luck Officer is the next book in my police adventures.
Suzie Ivy graduated the police academy and now faces the streets of Small Town, Arizona as a cop for the first time.
Against all odds, at age forty-five, Suzie Ivy graduated from the police academy. Now her life as the first female officer in Small Town, Arizona begins. From pink handcuffs to a shotgun named The Rock (Rock Hudson), life in Small Town will never be the same.
Bad Luck Officer takes you for a joy ride as Suzie works her first two “cop” years on the streets. Bulls, bad guys and humor will get her through the career of her dreams and will it?
This is the true-life adventure of a woman faced with a midlife crisis and empty nest syndrome. There are no tears in baseball but there are hidden tears in law enforcement when Suzie Ivy is on the case.
Bad Luck Officer
At the beginning of each New Year I take time to visit the Officer Down Online Memorial Pages. 2010 was a particularly deadly year for Police Officers. Every year it seems harder and harder to view these pictures which show such hope, courage and love, and know these Officers made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives.
I leave reflections at many of the pages and express my sympathy to the families and loved ones. All the Officer stories touch me deeply. I have chosen three stories that will stay with me for countless years.
Deputy Sheriff Ian Michael Deutch with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada, died after responding to a domestic disturbance. A woman called 911 after her boyfriend shot at her with a rifle. She fled to a casino to await Officers. When Deputy Deutch and his field training Officer exited their vehicle, the male subject opened fire and shot Deputy Deutch striking him six times.
Deputy Deutch was on his second day back to duty after returning from a deployment to Afghanistan. He left behind his wife and two children. Deputy Deutch had been a Police Officer for six years. He was twenty-seven-years old and served as a Police Officer with his brother Deputy Richard Deutch. The two brothers served together in Afghanistan as well. End of watch April 26.
Police Officer Thor Odin Soderberg with the Chicago Police Department was killed after being approached from behind in his Police Department parking lot. After a struggle for Officer Soderberg’s gun, Officer Soderberg was disarmed and shot with his duty weapon in the face, head, and back. Officer Soderberg was forty-three-years old and had served as a Police Officer for nearly eleven years. He left behind a wife and four children. End of watch July 7.
The most heroic story I read this year was of Officer Jillian Michelle Smith with the Arlington Police department in Texas. Her story will stay with me throughout my career.
Officer Smith was called to the scene of a domestic disturbance. A woman and her husband were fighting. By the time Officer Smith arrived, the husband had left the house. He returned a short time later with a gun. Officer Smith put herself between the gun and the woman’s eleven-year-old daughter. The suspect shot Officer Smith and then followed his wife to a back bedroom where he fatally shot her and then turned the gun on himself, ending his own life. The child was the only survivor.
What I find truly inspiring about Jillian Smith is she had only been an Officer for ten short months. She was twenty-four-years old. End of watch December 28.
This past year one hundred and sixty two Law Enforcement Officers lost their lives. They left behind grieving families, devastated coworkers, and friends. They had hopes and dreams of wearing their badges and protecting their communities, seeing their children and grandchildren grow and maybe follow their mother or father’s footsteps and become officers themselves.
January and June were the deadliest months this year, each having nineteen officer deaths. Seven female officers are among the fallen and one hundred and fifty five men lost their lives. Texas saw nineteen officer deaths, followed by California with eleven, and Illinois with ten.
Seventy seven of these Officers were murdered. Of the seventy seven murders, fifty nine were fatally shot. Eighteen of the officers were killed by assaults and/or vehicular attacks. Seventy one deaths were accidental and included vehicle, boating and training exercises. Fourteen Officers died from heart attacks.
To the brave men and women who gave their lives, thank you.
To the Officers who go out everyday and protect our communities, be safe.