Home > Life In Blue > End of Watch 2012

End of Watch 2012

The End of Watch for an officer culminates at the funeral when his or her watch/patrol is turned over to fellow officers. The dispatcher who monitored the officer at their time of death makes the last radio broadcast and officially passes the watch to his or her brothers and sisters in blue.

Just A Little Thanks

By: Katelyn Lord, Wyoming Valley West 8th Grade
(1st place county winner of 2006 S.O.L.E. Cultural Arts Contest)

You are brave, strong, and willing
To do what most would not dare.
I thank you for all the help
And my promise to you is, I will care.
I will obey the law,
I will respect what you do and say,
I will tell my friends to be aware of,
What you Sacrifice for us each day.

Thank you, Katelyn

My dread builds as I turn on my computer to enter the web address for the Officer Down Memorial Page. I go through these feelings every year. I put it off and check my email, cruise Twitter and peek in on Facebook. Finally, my delays are over.

Every picture is a smiling face; showing pride, hope, and joy for life. Each officer has loved ones at home who will never be the same and will mourn their loss forever. My tears make it hard to read their stories and pay homage. But, if they can die in blue, I can wipe my tears and praise their sacrifice.
There were 124 line of duty deaths in 2012. Every officer death is one too many but the number dropped 29% from 2011.

The most dangerous states to work as a police officer are Texas, leading the country with 11 officer deaths, Georgia at 7 followed by Colorado with 6. The deadliest months for line of duty deaths were January at 18, and 14 each in August and September.

There were 18 K9 deaths this year. Having served with a K9 dog I feel they deserve a mention for all they do.

111 male officers died and 13 female officers. 47 of the fallen were shot, 12 physically assaulted and 5 stabbed. Vehicles took their toll again with 40 deaths. Medical issues including heart attack stand at 15 with 5 miscellaneous deaths.

The average age is 41 and the average tour of duty is 11 years and 10 months. Domestic violence and drug search warrants tie for the deadliest events in which officers died.

Remembering…Park Ranger Margaret Anderson, End of Watch January 1st 2012

c_park-ranger-margaret-anderson-npsPark Ranger Anderson was shot and killed while attempting to stop a fleeing suspect near the Longmire Ranger Station in Mount Rainier National Park, in Pierce County, Washington, at approximately 10:30 am.Another park ranger had attempted to stop the suspect at a snow-chain checkpoint near the Paradise Ranger Station, but the suspect fled before being intercepted by Ranger Anderson, who had set up a roadblock. Unbeknownst to Ranger Anderson, the suspect was wanted in connection to a shooting the previous day where four people were wounded.
When the suspect reached Ranger Anderson’s roadblock, he made a U-turn, exited his vehicle, and opened fire. Ranger Anderson was shot before she was able to exit her patrol car.

After being shot, Ranger Anderson radioed for help as the suspect fled on foot. Responding units attempting to reach Ranger Anderson were held at bay for approximately 90 minutes as the suspect continued to fire on them. The suspect’s vehicle was recovered with additional weapons and body armor inside.

The suspect’s body was found the following day about six miles from the initial shooting scene.

Ranger Anderson had served with the National Park Service for 11 years. She is survived by her husband and two young children. Her husband also serves as a park ranger in the park and was on duty at the time.

Remembering…Police Officer Sean Callahan, End of Watch December 18, 2012

police-officer-sean-callahanPolice Officer Callahan succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained the previous day during a foot pursuit in Stockbridge, Georgia.
He and other officers had responded to a domestic disturbance at a motel on Davidson Parkway. As officers attempted to arrest the male subject he began to resist and fled on foot. The officers chased the man around the motel where the subject opened fire, striking Officer Callahan in the head twice. Other officers returned fire, killing the subject. The subject had a long criminal history and had just been released from prison seven months earlier.

Officer Callahan was 24 years old and had served as an officer for only four months.

Remembering…Police Officer Arthur Lopez, End of Watch October 23, 2012

police-officer-arthur-lopezPolice Officer Lopez was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a hit-and-run driver at the intersection of 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue, Nassau County Police Department, New York

Officer Lopez and his partner observed a vehicle they believed had been involved in the hit-and-run accident near the border of Nassau County and New York City. The officers followed the vehicle into Queens, where they conducted a vehicle stop. The subject opened fire on the officers after they approached and exchanged words. Officer Lopez, who was not wearing a vest, was struck in the chest.

The subject then fled in his vehicle. He abandoned his vehicle and carjacked a citizen, fatally shooting the driver.The subject was arrested several hours later and was suffering two self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He was identified as a former convict who had served four years for attempted murder.

To my brothers and sisters in blue…wear your vest, buckle your seat belt, and stay safe.

Categories: Life In Blue
  1. January 1, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Happy New Year, Suzie…

    Thank you again for bringing this to the forefront for your readers.

    While reading it, I choked up, as I have many friends in law enforcement, and simply cannot imagine them not being here anymore.

    Thank YOU for your service. Small Town is lucky to have you!

    Stay safe!

    • January 1, 2013 at 8:10 am

      Thank you Julie. May you, your family, and friends have a wonderful 2013!

  2. January 1, 2013 at 8:54 am

    This is so sad to read especially because it’s something I rarely hear about or (sadly) think about — yet it’s so important to write about and personalize — thank you. It was especially tough to read about Officer Callahan who was younger than my son. Just tragic to think of his potential, the family and friends left behind… the fellow officers… and the public that might have been helped by these fallen officers. Happy New Year — I look forward to another year of reading, being educated and entertained by your blog.

    • January 1, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I look at the faces and most are so young with all their hopes and dreams in front of them. I struggle with the End of Watch post every year and feel such a sense of relief when it’s finally posted. Then, the comments make me feel better. Thank you, sincerely!

  3. January 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for sharing~ too often we take for granted the sacrifices of others whom keep us safe.

    • January 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      I’m also guilty. We get so wrapped up in our own lives and I often think I have it hard. This post always grounds me.

  4. January 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing… It is so sad to know so many people lose their lives while trying to protect others… My dad was a corrections officer (was shot and stabbed while on duty) so I have a very special understanding / compassion….

    • January 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Oh Hilary, I’m so sorry. Corrections Officer are included in my total and I believe all 5 were stabbed. It is heartbreaking.

  5. Donna
    January 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    These three are so young….so tragic. I am sure their families are proud of them. My heart goes out to them.

    Have a Safe, Happy, and Healthy 2013, Suzie. Take care!

    • January 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you Donna and I will.

  6. January 2, 2013 at 6:31 am

    You do them a great honor, Suzie. And you do us a great honor by sharing their lives.

  7. January 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    So sad, Suzie. And yet you all go back out day after day and continue to serve. Thank you.

  8. January 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Absolutely heartbreaking. There was also an officer who died on December 31st in Virginia. Good job letting other people know what goes on.


    • January 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Thank you Andrew for mentioning the officer who died on December 31st.

  9. January 11, 2013 at 10:16 am

    How very sad…none of the 3 officers pictured on your blog looked old enough to be out of school let alone subject to such a fate. It must take such strength to do a job with risks like this. I am glad you mentioned the K9s too.

    • January 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Thank you. The K9’s save many officer’s lives. My heart goes out to them and their handlers.

  10. Katelyn Lord
    May 3, 2013 at 12:46 am

    Thank you for still recognizing my poem.

    • May 3, 2013 at 6:15 am

      Katelyn, I was incredibly honored to use your poem. Thank you!

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