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Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

Opinion

A senseless tragedy

Friday, December 13, 2019

At one point or another, both of my sons have served as sheriffís deputies on patrol. Although neither of them are road deputies now, they both still work jobs that present enough risk that they are required to be armed.

Candidly, Iím not terribly excited about the idea of my sons potentially being in harmís way, but they are both grown men capable of making their own decisions. My job is to support those decisions as much as I can.

Another part of my job as a parent, of course, is to worry about my sons. Itís been that way since they were born and that wonít ever change.

With all that in mind, I was especially saddened to hear about a Fayetteville police officer who was shot to death as he sat in his patrol car Saturday night. The Fayetteville police chief said his officer was ďexecuted,Ē and that seems to be an apt description based on the facts that have been made public so far.

We may never know what motivated the apparent shooter. He was killed by other Fayetteville officers who responded after hearing shots outside the police station. Maybe the shooter was unhappy with that particular officer. Maybe he was angry at police in general. Maybe there was some other motive.

Whatever the motivation was, the act was pure cowardice.

I donít believe that police officers are perfect. Theyíre human beings, and they make mistakes. Sometimes, they make really bad decisions. Over the past several years those mistakes and bad decisions have drawn far more public attention. That has led some people to a negative view of police officers in general, and thatís unfair.

The vast majority of police officers are decent human beings who put themselves in harmís way to protect the public. They do it for relatively low salaries, with difficult schedules and sometimes hazardous working conditions. They serve their communities the best they can, and they deserve respect.

Officer Stephen Carr was by all accounts an outstanding police officer. His death is a senseless tragedy, and I canít help but think about how his parents must feel today. Itís a loss that no parent should have to bear.

I offer my condolences to Officer Carrís family and the Fayetteville Police Department. To the law enforcement officers here in Carroll County, and beyond, who go to work every day to keep the rest of us safe, I offer my gratitude.