Saturday, January 14, 2017

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

The Patriots Club at a Downingtown school typically honors veterans, and most recently, the students hosted a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Pennsylvania State Police and police from the Downingtown area told the students about their passion for their jobs and keeping people safe.

Lionville Middle School students wrote thank-you notes to the Downingtown area police officers who visited their school during Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. 

During the nationally recognized event held on Monday, Principal Jonathan Ross told his middle school students the Chester County staff was impacted on a personal level by a line of duty death in Montgomery County. 

Ross said that Lynsay Fox worked as a substitute teacher at Lionville Middle School, of the Downingtown Area School District, when her husband Plymouth Township Officer Bradley Fox was fatality shot in the line of duty in 2012. A law was established in Fox’s name for the minimum sentences for “straw purchasers” who buy a gun for someone who cannot legally buy a gun because of their criminal record.

“It’s a terrible thing,” Ross said about the line of duty deaths. “Unfortunately it occurs all too frequently in our country.”

According to the Officer Down Memorial page, 140 officers were killed on duty in 2016 and 130 were killed in 2015. The term "killed in the line of duty" means a law enforcement officer has died as a direct result of a personal injury sustained while working, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Police officers have told me during interviews that they feel that loss nationally and locally. Firefighters say the same. Four officers and two firefighters died in January 2017. The unofficial report shows that 90 firefighters died in 2016 and 136 firefighters were killed in 2015, according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

Police officers and firefighters have said that a death really changes the atmosphere of the station. They would miss seeing their brother or sister around the station. It seems quieter without them.

When we realize we are all trying to work toward common goals of safety, communities can come together in the midst of tragedies. I have also reported on communities coming together to support their police and offer their condolences. It’s nice when people think about police officers and firefighters when they grieve their loss.

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