Flags fly at half-staff once again in New York City, this time to honor the passing of NYPD Officer Randolph Holder. Tragically, another police officer has been senselessly killed while valiantly protecting and serving New York City.
Holder was recipient of both Meritorious and Excellent Police Duty awards and made 125 arrests during his career.
All of New York City must mourn, along with Holder’s family, the NYPD, law enforcement everywhere, and all who love America. The flags that fly at half-staff must be solemnly present in our hearts and souls.
Expressions of devotion, including cards, candles, and flowers, will be left to honor Holder, and mourning bunting will hang. The flames from these candles must ignite compassion in our hearts and inspire us to pause, reflect, and pray.
Another tragic death of a police officer must not be in vain, but serve as a clarion call not only to our country. America must appreciate the service of dedicated men and women protecting our communities in a dangerous profession deserving of honor.
These are challenging times, as we see through a culture of violence compounded by contemptuous anti-police sentiments. America’s police are guardians of safety and the lifelines of security in our communities. Respect, courtesy, and appreciation toward our police must be enhanced.
America’s Great Loss
Just one week ago, I had the privilege of meeting three of Holder’s superiors: the NYPD chief of housing and two deputy chiefs at a First Precinct Financial Area Security Council event at Pace University in New York City.
During our conversations, I never imagined that just one week later, I would be sending sympathy messages to each of them, as well as to the NYPD commissioner’s office.
Unfortunately, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is becoming all too familiar with officers making the ultimate sacrifice. Bratton shared this solemn message on the death of Holder:
“To the Men and Women of the New York City Police Department—
“Once more the flags will be lowered. Once more the mourning bands will be worn. With great sorrow, I inform you that a New York City Police Officer was killed in the line of duty tonight. He was killed doing what you all do: rushing toward danger while others rush away.
“Police Officer Randolph Holder was 33 years old, a decorated five-year veteran, the son of a cop. He was on duty in an Anti-Crime assignment in PSA 5 tonight, when he responded to a shots-fired job and robbery. Upon confronting the suspect, there was an exchange of gunfire. The suspect was wounded, but Officer Holder was struck and killed.
“We will mourn him, as we do—as we have done too much in the past year. Four cops lost in less than a year is too much. One would have been too much. But we will move forward, too. Because across the city, you, his brothers and sisters in blue, are out there. You keep this city safe, even at terrible cost. It is who we are.
“Tonight, as always—but more than ever, too—be safe.”
NYPD Fallen Officers
Officer Randolph Holder was the fourth officer murdered while serving New York City in the past 11 months.
In May, NYPD Officer Brain Moore, 25, was shot and killed.
NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40, were killed in December 2014.
Appreciating Our Police
The challenges for police safeguarding America’s communities are arduous and deserve the appreciation of all who benefit from their sacrifices.
Every citizen should be truly grateful for their service and do everything humanly possible to express appreciation through acts of encouragement, thoughtfulness, service, and respect.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, on average, one officer is killed in the line-of-duty somewhere in the United States every 58 hours. Since the first known line-of-duty death in 1791, over 20,000 law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Currently, over 900,000 law enforcement officers serve communities across America to battle over 1 million violent crimes each year.
Aside from fatalities, over the last decade, there is a yearly average of nearly 60,000 assaults against police officers, resulting in 16,000 injuries each year.
For the NYPD, the danger is sobering as the department has lost more officers in the line-of-duty than any other, with over 700 fatalities.
Following a historically low number in 2013, the number of on-duty American law enforcement officials killed as a result of criminal acts doubled in 2014 according to statistics released by the FBI on Oct. 19, 2015.
This FBI document detailed that 27 law enforcement officials were killed due to violence in 2013. In 2014, 51 law enforcement officers were killed “as a result of felonious acts.”
As Officer Randolph Holder is laid to rest, his death must ignite a fire of compassion, respect, and appreciation in the hearts of all privileged to call New York City and America their home.
It is time to forever honor Holder and all law enforcement across America who make us proud through their sacred oath to protect and serve.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times.