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
Park 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 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
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.