When 100 was a goal…
When I was a kid, 100 was a goal. $100 was a lot of money. A 100% on a test meant you could not have scored any higher. As I got older, I realized that $100 didn’t buy much. However, the goal of giving 100% never changed through my work as a LEO, graduate school and night law school. On July 20, 2011, the number 100 changed for me forever when we lost our 100th LEO this year. Clayton County Deputy Sheriff Richard “Rick” Jerome Daly was shot and killed that day at approximately 1500 hours. The shooter is listed as a 17 year old robbery suspect.
As with many other recent murders of LEOs, the suspect confronted Deputy Daly and fired multiple rounds. This is far removed from the past pattern of suspects who fired a few shots while fleeing or in an attempt to gain an opportunity to escape. The criminals are getting more violent, the confrontations with LEOs are more strategic and the attacks on LEOs seem more focused on the violence itself and not a means to avoid arrest.
There are lessons here for everyone. For the LEOs working the road and investigations, be more vigilant. For the trainers, adapt your lesson plans and scenarios to better prepare your troops. For the administrators, get ready to stand behind your troops when they use force to protect themselves. For the prosecutors, expect the LEOs on the street to take more precautions and be quicker to use force to protect themselves and others.
Let us all commit that next year, the year after and many more to come, we will never again reach the milestone of 100 LEOs killed in the line of duty.
Rest in peace, Deputy Daly. May God embrace and comfort your family, friends and fellow LEOs as you look down and watch over them.