Protecting the Palm Beaches – a tribute to those who serve and sacrifice
Bottom Line: This weekly feature is designed to recognize those who've paid the ultimate price to serve their communities and to serve as a reminder of what our police risk to keep us safe. We highlight a remarkable effort by local law enforcement each week. Joel Malkin brings you the perspective in local news from leaders in local law enforcement.
I bring you the unfortunate news you need to know:
- 128 police officers died in the line of duty in 2017
- 118 officers have fallen in 2018
- 9 of the officers we've lost served in Florida
Over the past week we’ve lost another three officers. In New York, Sergeant Dennis Reichardt died of cancer attributed to being a first responder on 9/11 and working through the debris field at ground zero for three months after. He’s survived by a wife and three children. In Pennsylvania, corrections officer Mark Anthony Gaspick died of a heart attack while climbing an observation tower. He’d also served as a Sheriff’s deputy and volunteer firefighter. In North Carolina, Trooper Kevin Cooner was murdered while conducting a traffic stop when the driver opened fire on him as he approached. He’s survived by a wife and two children.
In 2018 we’ve had over 70 widows and over 100 children who’ve lost a parent. These are often the untold stories of the people who've sacrificed their lives in service of their communities. This is our small part to attempt to recognize those who've sacrificed the most for our safety. The average age of the officers at the time of their death was 41. The average length of time they'd served at the time of their passing is 12 years 6 months. Overall police fatalities are up 3% year over year and murdering of police officers is up 13%.
Remember to back the badge and spread the word. Media often aren't there for our law enforcement, but we can be. Let our police, and their families, know we support them every chance you get. They need it, now more than ever, just as we need them more than ever.