Community Gathers to Say Goodbye to Four Slain Police Officers

By Sadie Bass

Dec 8, 2009 1:31pm

ABC's Neal Karlinsky reports from Seattle: If you’re like most people, it’s a safe bet that the only time you think about a police officer is when you’re driving too fast.  But just imagine what that job — the job of policing society — must really be like.  It’s the kind of job where you get a lot of grief, a lot of the time.  Good people are annoyed at you because they weren’t really driving that fast — and why aren’t you out catching bad guys anyway?  And of course the bad guys — well, you know how they feel.  Plus the hours can be rough, the bureaucracy can be mind boggling and the stress can be intense.  So policing is the kind of job that breeds camaraderie — cops stick together because, let’s face it — the rest of us don’t really know what they’re dealing with most of the time.  Sometimes that camaraderie means getting together before another long shift to get paperwork in order, have a coffee, and talk about the holiday.  Maybe even complain about the job or gossip about coworkers a little — just like the rest of us.  But they’re not like the rest of us.  Because in Lakewood Washington last week, that camaraderie meant facing the wrath of a deranged gunman together while simply sitting at a table for a cup of coffee.  If that sort of work isn’t in your job description, take a minute to consider those who do it for you.  Today an entire community and police from across the country will gather to say goodbye to four fallen officers.  Nine kids will be there too — the children of Ronald Owens, Mark Renninger, Tina Griswold and Gregory Richards — kids who probably thought their parents were indestructible.  But police aren’t any more bullet proof than the people who like to complain about them during better times.  So today, just for a minute, it might be a good time to put down the cell phone, slow down and just be thankful.  Thankful there are people out there doing the work we’d rather not think about — keeping us safe to speed home in time to tuck our kids into bed and tell them there’s nothing to be worried about.

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