New appreciation for law enforcement |

New appreciation for law enforcement

We’ve all had jobs in which we felt under-appreciated at times. For most of us, those jobs don’t include getting shot at – literally putting our lives on the line for the safety of others.It’s been a very busy summer for local law enforcement. Busy and dangerous. It’s nice to see that it’s not going unnoticed by the communities those officers serve and protect.At the recent National Night Out event in Glenwood Springs there was one of the largest community turnouts ever, and it wasn’t just because of the free burgers.The event, which gave people the opportunity to meet members of area law enforcement, had a little more weight this year after a Glenwood Springs Police officer was shot on June 29.A man who attended had this to say: “After all that’s happened, I just wanted to go down there and shake their hands. I just wanted to tell them that I appreciate what they do.”June 29 could have been a tragedy.The bulletproof vest likely saved the officer’s life, but the impact of the shooting remains.The shooting drove home the fact that law enforcement officers are putting themselves at risk. There is real crime in our communities, and these officers are putting themselves at risk for the rest of us. The June 29 shooting was the second officer shooting in a little more than eight months. Colorado State Patrol Trooper Brian Koch was shot during a traffic stop south of Silt in October. It was a clear demonstration that there’s nothing routine about their job anymore. Koch too was fortunate to survive the shooting.He’s has since returned to the job but is still on light duty and still recovering from his injury.Along with the support shown at the National Night Out event, both the police and sheriff’s departments received a number of messages of support following the June 29 shooting. And in a concrete, tangible show of support the $2,000 reward offered for information on the shooter ballooned to $7,000 thanks to contributions from private citizens.Suspects are now in custody, but it’s unlikely those arrests will put an end to crime in our communities or the dangers our local officers face on a daily basis.The men and women of law enforcement are there to serve and protect. And we should never take that for granted.

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