Line of Duty

Police officers put their lives on the line every day.

On Wednesday, one of our community’s state troopers found himself in a fight for his life when he was assaulted by a suspect while serving an arrest warrant. Lt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police described the fight as so fierce, it was lucky the officer was not killed in the line of duty.

Fewer statements are so chilling.

Thankfully, the officer escaped with injuries that were not life-threatening. The suspect escaped, also injured in the fight, sparking an intense manhunt.

Good news came with word the suspect had been arrested.

While the officer’s name has not been released, we wish him all the best in his

recovery.

Law enforcement officers often have thankless jobs. Most of the time, they see people at their worst. Still, they walk out of their homes each day knowing there’s a chance they might not come back.

They walk into situations most people would run from. They handle domestic violence calls which have the potential to turn deadly in the space of a single heartbeat. Think of the myriad things which could go wrong during any routine traffic stop. An officer handing out a simple ticket or verbal warning could be struck and killed by a passing motorist. Worse still is the potential of pulling over someone who would rather kill than go jail.

As a community, we should commend our troopers, sheriff’s deputies, city patrolmen, wildlife police and all other law enforcement officers.

It costs us nothing to say a simple thank you when we see them out performing their duties. And when we find ourselves pulled over for speeding or a broken tail light, we should go out of our way to be kind. We have no way of knowing what may already have happened during the officer’s shift or what might happen after the encounter. It would be too much for most to see the things officers see every day.

And whenever one of our officers has a brush with death, as happened on Wednesday, we should take a moment to reflect on what we could have lost.