The tragedy in Dallas, with the reprehensible murder of five police officers, illuminates the dangers faced by those who take the honorable oath to protect and serve America’s communities.
This cowardly attack, the most deadly against law enforcement since 9/11, must inspire America to appreciate our police, and fully commit ourselves as a nation dedicated to police-community unity.
The current storms of police-community controversies, tensions, and brokenness must serve as a turning point that ignites healing, unity, and renewal.
Although our nation’s police-community issue is national in scope, the entire world is watching America’s response.
Last week, while traveling throughout China, I followed the events not only through American sources, but witnessed extensive coverage of our police-community issues through Chinese television and newspapers as well.
Honoring the Dallas Fallen
The loss of police officers in Dallas is not only an indescribable loss to their families, but to the law enforcement family nationwide, and a wound to the heart of America.
America’s police are called to serve as ethical guardians and to protect communities as the lifelines of security and safety.
Our country would quickly erupt into anarchy, chaos, and turmoil without our police, and we must appreciate their service and dedicate ourselves to a unity of effort.
Let us pause to respect those who have fallen in Dallas on July 7, and pledge to honor their sacrifices with a commitment to renewing the nation by enhancing police-community cohesiveness.
Dallas Police Officer Michael Krol—an eight-year Dallas Police Department veteran, previously served as a jail worker with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in Detroit, Michigan from 2003–2007.
Officer Krol, 40, is best described by his mother as a “caring person who always wanted to help others. He knew the dangers of the job, but he never shied away from his duty.”
On the night of the protest, Officer Krol texted his girlfriend that “everything was going peacefully.”
Dart Police Officer Brent Thompson—was the first police officer in the history of his Rapid Transit Department to be killed in the line of duty.
Officer Thompson, 43, was also a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the father of six children, who all took the stage during his funeral service to honor their dad.
His daughter Katie Thompson said, “His only goal in life was to provide a better life for his children, for us. Whether it was becoming a Marine and going overseas, he worked so, so hard to provide for us his entire life. He worked two jobs lots of times. He worked countless hours of overtime so he did not have to see us struggle.”
His daughter Sandy said, “He was not just a hero to Dallas, but to the world. He fought overseas for many, many years.”
Dallas Police Officer Patrick Zamarripa—served three tours in Iraq with the Navy as a security officer.
Officer Zamarripa, 32, joined the Dallas Police Department after his military service and recently was assigned to do a bicycle patrol in downtown Dallas.
Valerie Zamarripa stated, “from when he was a little boy, Patrick always wanted to be a police officer. He loved life, he loved his family, his job, he was a happy man and where he wanted to be.”
Just a few days prior to his death, Officer Zamarripa, father of a 2-year-old, was planning a Disney cruise with his family.
In a text message on July 4, one of his last written messages, Officer Zamarripa noted, “Happy Birthday to the greatest country on the face of the planet, my beloved America.”
Dallas Police Sgt. Michael Smith—was an Army Ranger veteran before joining the Dallas Police Department in 1989.
Sgt. Smith received a “Cops’ Cop” award from the Dallas Police Association. He was married and had two daughters. He was admired for having a positive attitude and compassion for others.
His sister Yea-Mei Sauer shared these heart-wrenching words at his funeral. “My brother’s murder will not be in vain, his selfless legacy will live on. He would want us to continue the good fight, to be guardians, leaders, peacemakers, to love one another, to set the example, because this is what we are supposed to do.”
Dallas Police Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens—served as a deputy at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) from 1991–2002 before beginning his service with the Dallas Police Department.
Ahrens leaves behind a wife and two children. He was described by Captain Ken McWard, a former colleague with the LASD, as “someone who always wanted to be in law enforcement. You can tell that when you first met him. He was a big guy with a big heart and you could always count on him. He really loved what he was doing.”
In my article titled “Principles of American Policing” published in the April 24, 2016 edition of the Epoch Times, I summoned a clarion call to enhance dialogue, communication, and trust between police and communities.
This was highlighted in my first principle, “Being pro-police and pro-community are inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent.”
But this first principle is best described by the broken heart of a father, Rick Zamarripa, who lost his beloved son, Officer Patrick Zamarripa, in Dallas on July 7.
Mr. Zamarripa said, “All of this hate has to stop. I don’t care if your black or white … we are all God’s children.”
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 and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.