On February 20th, Officer Keith Boyer, a 27-year veteran of the Whittier Police Department, in Whittier, California, was shot and killed. The man who allegedly killed Officer Boyer is a known gang member, who has been arrested 5 times in the past 7 months. (The Mercury News) This horrific murder marks the 6th officer killed by gunfire this year.
On average, a law enforcement officer is killed in this country every 61 hours. This is a monstrous statistic, one that police officers contend with every day; and it should shock the conscience of every American. Why?
Police officers live in American communities – not in a war zone where one would expect casualties of this nature. Our society must be ever mindful that the police exist to faithfully execute the charge of government; that being, to maintain order among the people. In other words, but for the police, society would be reduced to mass chaos, and anarchy. It is for these reasons, and other benevolent acts by police officers, that they deserve the respect and appreciation of the citizens; and the citizens must never forget the fact that every police officer has a family, friends, and colleagues, who become suffering crime victims any time an officer is murdered in the line of duty.
Given the great risks and sacrifices officers and their families make, in the interest of keeping communities safe, every citizen should grieve whenever an officer, as President Abraham Lincoln said, gives “the last full measure of devotion” to his or her community, and country. These sacrifices of police officers, and far too often, their families, compel greater action to protect the lives of those in blue.
First, it must be observed, that with the election of President Trump, and subsequent appointment of Attorney General Jess Sessions, the political war waged by the liberal establishment against the police in America, has largely ended. The president and attorney general are both strong supporters of law enforcement officers, and this change in the political realm, will provide emotional relief, and a significant increase in morale among officers. In fact, the President recently signed an executive order directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop a strategy for prosecuting individuals who commit violent acts against federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement. (USA Today)
Notwithstanding this gratifying news on behalf of law enforcement officers, it is past time for state legislatures, the bodies principally responsible for regulating criminal behavior, to act. A strong message of deterrence must be sent to today’s criminal element, in order to protect the lives of police officers, given their imperative on behalf of protecting society, and the life-threatening risks they take as law enforcement officers.
Accordingly, every family victimized by the murder of a police officer, on behalf of the law enforcement community, should support new, and very harsh laws, to raise the penalties for these murderous acts against police officers. Such legislation should include a mandatory death penalty for the murder of a police officer; and lengthy prison sentences without parole for the attempted murder of a police officer. Should the states refuse to act, the U.S. Congress must impose parallel statutory penalties. Throughout the nation, the message must be that if you kill a police officer, you forfeit your right to life, or freedom, respectively.
It is time to protect those, who selflessly, protect us. With God’s gracious aid, this aim will be achieved.
By Allen Sutton