FEATURED IN NEWS
- Over 50 Dead, Including Children, After Tornado Strikes Oklahoma City Suburb
- Chicago Paper Scrutinizes Metro Police Department's Overtime Usage
- Official: FBI Agents' Cause of Death Unlikely Soon
- Virginia Driver Who Hit Officer with Car Shot, Killed
- NY Police Look Into Links Between Fatal Shooting, Anti-Gay Attacks
- Colorado Sheriffs Sue Over New Gun Restrictions
- Wounded Massachusetts Transit Officer Eager for Work
Over the weekend, three officers have died--one in a motorcycle crash, one in a car crash and one as a result of injuries sustained in an ATV crash.
Philadelphia PD Officer Brian Lorenzo, 48, was killed when a wrong-way DUI driver struck his motorcycle at 0315 on July 8. Milville, N.J., Police Officer Chris Reeves, 31, died at approximately 0215, July 8, when a vehicle fleeing police struck his patrol car. Another officer was critically injured. USBP Officer Leopoldo Cavazos, Jr., 29, died as a result of injuries sustained on July 6 when his ATV crashed while patrolling the border near Ft. Hancock, Texas.
These three officers left behind three spouses, six children and one baby on the way. Officer Lorenzo’s brother also works for Philadelphia PD and the wife of Officer Reeves is an officer with Milville PD. Words can never express the terrible tragedy that has hit these families. Please remember each of them and their agencies in your thoughts and prayers.
It is essential that we honor their sacrifice with an increased commitment to safety and survival. When I found out about these fallen officers, I called Travis Yates, President of ALERT International and founder of www.PoliceDriving.com. “These losses are a stark reminder of how quickly heartbreak can visit our profession,” Yates said. “Because so much is out of our control, we must be all the more vigilant in doing what is within our control to reduce tragedy.”
At this point, we do not know the details behind these terrible losses. However, here’s what we are absolutely aware of: There are officers alive today because they have made the choice to wear their seatbelts, wear their armor and drive at speeds reasonable for the circumstances. The sooner we can embrace these actions as a given, the sooner we will see line-of-duty deaths decline significantly.
We have already made great progress, but there is much to be done. This includes having the all-important courageous conversations to get officers on the right track, setting the best example for others and embracing common sense safety tactics. For instance, passenger side approaches on traffic stops are often the best approach and many officers are alive today because they chose to use this tactic.
Tragedy will happen in our profession; that is a given. But we should never forget that we have a responsibility to make it home to our loved ones and to help others do the same. This means remembering the tenets of Below 100:
- Wear your belt.
- Wear your vest.
- Watch your speed.
- WIN – What’s Important Now?
- Remember: Complacency Kills!
Related from Law Officer Magazine: