AZCentral.com Article from E. J. Montini

The things we ask of officers

The death of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy William Coleman is a simple, heartbreaking example of the things we ask law enforcement officers to do.

We ask them to respond to middle-of-the-night reports of burglar alarms, as deputies did at medical facility near Anthem.

We ask them to be on the lookout for suspicious individuals or vehicles, as when Coleman and the deputies spotted a minivan sitting in a nearby parking lot.

We ask them to walk up to those vehicles, as Coleman did, and tap on the window to awaken what appeared to be a sleeping driver.

We ask them to take on a crazed man with an assault rifle who comes up firing.

We ask them to risk their lives for us.

And they do.

And sometimes that is the sacrifice they make.

We might remember this the next time some politician or think tank lawyer suggests that police are ripping off taxpayers by way of their pension benefits or union activities.

We might remember this whenever some ridiculous egregious example of a high-powered double-dipper is held up as the norm rather than the exception, because the “norm,” when it comes to first responders, would be a lot more like Deputy Coleman.

We ask a lot of them.

A little respect, a little understanding – and the benefit of the doubt – is not too much to give in return.

E.J. Montini’s Article from 01/10/2012