Fallen Officers

Emily Rodrigues, Op/Ed Editory

There have been gunshots heard, accidents witnessed, and heroes that left us with a final breath. Brave officers of the law who fight to protect our country are caught in the cross fire of the conflicting views and protests of our country, and many this year have paid the ultimate price.

Students here at Bingham have watched the news, and have seen the stories, but the deaths of our police officers go unmentioned. Students do not realize that they could make a difference within the lives that are struggling with the loss of a brother, son, father, mother, sister, or daughter. Three of those families reside inside our states borders. They matter, but you can’t express it enough if you aren’t educated on the true severity of the situation. We need to be aware of the actual facts of the dilemma plaguing our nation.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, “As of November of 2016, there have been 132 line of duty deaths within the United States.” That is 132 futures that now will not happen. They can no longer make memories, play with their children, or even smile at their spouses. The Memorial Page also says, “The average age of those killed is 41 years old.” The magnitude of that is one of extensive weight. Yes, some of these losses were tragic accidents that could have come upon any one. However, a very large amount of these deaths were purposeful and planned attacks. Attacks meant to send a message, and one of fear and gore.

Three of the 132 that were lost this year were citizens of the very state that we are living in. Three individuals that used to be functioning members of the Utah society.  Officer Douglas Scott Barney the II left behind a wife and three children. Officer Cody Brotherson was about to get married. Trooper Eric Dale Ellsworth left a wife and three young sons. These are lives that will be forever altered by tragic loss, and Utah has lost some of its greatest heroes.

They are all missed by many from around our country. They were the bravest of people. Assist The Officer Foundation said, “They are the men and women who are willing to step into danger to enforce our laws and are willing to lay down their lives to protect others. By supporting the teams and individuals who work hard to keep us safe, you’ll be encouraging them to continue the work they do.” Police officers are in our society for many reasons, and some you may not agree with, but they are still valuable lives that belong to the rights and freedoms we enjoy here. There is recognition for the facts that mistakes will be made, accidents will happen, and support will always be shown by someone out there. For all of the 132… Thank you.