Today I have to jump off of the financial planning topic for a post. Overnight, two police officers were killed very near the jurisdiction where I started my law enforcement career. Knowing how “safe” that part of the Des Moines metro feels, it is especially painful to hear of such a horrific and violent attack against the police there.
Unlike most workplaces, it goes without saying that the men and women assigned to work their shifts today and tonight at Urbandale PD and Des Moines PD will be there. Even though a co-worker was murdered in the workplace, there is no opportunity for those departments to close down for mourning or security reasons. There will still be crimes and problems that need to be dealt with, all while those men and women have lost co-workers and friends.
An attack like this not only endangers the people who work in law enforcement, but also our entire society at large. When the people we depend on to uphold the law are murdered we all suffer. Although it isn’t often directly felt by the general public, an attack on the police erodes the ability of our civil society to function as it should. When police officers have to expend extra resources just to be safe and when they are killed, there are fewer resources available to maintain order, protect the weak from abuse, and keep our society functioning the way it should.
In my opinion, one of the largest differences between the US and third world countries comes directly from our professional law enforcement community and legal system. When the rules are broken in this country, even ones that may seem petty to some, we can depend on the police and our legal system to consistently address the offenders. We take for granted the fact that calling 911 results in consistent responses handled by professionals within a functioning legal structure. We also take for granted that traffic regulations are at least generally followed. Without proper enforcement we wouldn’t be able to rely on the relatively consistent driver behavior we enjoy here. As tragic events like today continue to occur, the ability for the remaining police officers, and the system as a whole, to keep our society running smoothly is diminished.
Please pray for the friends, family, and departments the officers we have lost today. Not only have they lost these two, but all of us have lost two people who were willing to put themselves in danger to protect their communities.