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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company

 

Standing with law enforcement

 

By Megan Whitworth
Editor

Sergeant Highway Patrol David Gustafson called police officers to attention at 10 a.m. for one minute on Friday, July 7 outside the San Jacinto County Sheriff 's Office in Coldspring as they honored the one-year anniversary of the attack on Dallas law enforcement. Officers also turned on blue and red lights on their cars to remember the five officers slain on July 7, 2016 by 25-year-old Micah Johnson during a peaceful demonstration against police brutality in Dallas. The five officers are: Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Sgt. Michael Smith Officer Michael Krol and Officer Patrick Zamarripa, all of the Dallas Police Department, and Officer Brent Thompson of Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Governor Greg Abbott requested the statewide call to stand with law enforcement on Thursday, July 6. He said in a press release that respect for "our law enforcement officials must be restored in this nation. "It is our officers who stand between us and all that threatens, and we must stand behind them by sending a clear message that attacks on our men and women in blue will not be tolerated," he said. "I ask that all Texans come together to show our appreciation for those who keep us safe." Sheriff Greg Capers said he was at home when he learned about the shooting in Dallas. He didn't realize it was live until moments after. "It scares me to death. I'm over 67 people; there are nights where I've lost sleep worrying about my own police officers," Capers said. "Every time a police officer dies in America, I feel it's my duty to send the head of that office, whether it's a police department, a sheriff 's office or state trooper, I send letters of condolences to each and every office for each and every officer to each and every head of whatever law enforcement agency. "Every time I learn about an officer's death I get a print out, and I'll put that print out, normally on the wall back there between my patrol office and my detective office," he continued. "I will highlight how they die, the circumstances surrounding it, and we constantly try to train our officers. That being take into account, we train officers daily, some officers are quicker than other officers, so they pick it up quicker." Gustafson said he has also held numerous training events, including one-on-one trainings, to help make the "officers aware of those situations and circumstances that were involved in the death of that officer. So that officer doesn't make that same mistake to keep that from possibly happening in the future. "A lot of these deaths that we've seen here lately are where those officers are sitting in the car," Gustafson said. "As you have someone approach your car, normally it's just to ask a question, now days we have to look at it different until we can ensure that is the situation."

 

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