Line of Duty Deaths: A Sad Reality

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by Craig Floyd

The sad reality is that on average, a law enforcement officer is killed somewhere in America every 60 hours. That tragedy hit southern California two nights ago. Wednesday night, Officer Ricardo Galvez of the Downey (CA) Police Department was shot during what appears to be a botched robbery. Officer Galvez was apparently shot at close range in his personal car, incredibly, while parked in a city-owned lot used by other police officers and city officials.

Craig Floyd is the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Craig Floyd is the chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

This young man was only 29. He was a Marine, and by all accounts was proud to serve his country and his community. According to National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund records, Officer Galvez is the 112th law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty nationwide this year, and the fifth in California. The 113th was Georgia Ports Authority Police Corporal William Solomon, who died yesterday after being struck by a drunk driver in March.

Every law enforcement officer in this country lives with the daily risk of facing death or injury while on duty. Yet, they push ahead, serving and protecting their towns, cities, states and country. Too often, it is easy for citizens to take that risk for granted. Such lapses are jarred awake when a law enforcement officer is killed doing his or her job. Our respect for the danger these professionals deal with constantly should be as ongoing as their dedication to us.

The thoughts and prayers of law enforcement professionals around the country are with Officer Galvez’s family and friends as they are with Corporal Solomon’s. Unfortunately, we could be saying the same for another officer within 60 hours.

About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of the 20,538 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.

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