Friday, December 16, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - officer down

It's hard to say anything unique when a young police officer is gunned down on the job. It happens with such alarming regularity that we're almost numb to it by now.

The city where I grew up, Laval, Quebec, has never experienced it. Until this week. Even though it wasn't a technically local story, I felt it had universal impact, that no matter where we live, we all rely on police forces that we largely take for granted. Until something like this happens, of course.

Wherever you may live, I hope that after reading this you'll thank an officer as well. It's easy to see that these folks truly are heroes.

Your turn: I hope you'll share a positive experience you've had with an officer. I'm sure we've all benefitted from their help at one point or another.
Constable's death a tragedy for us all
Published Friday, December 16, 2005
The London Free Press

Laval Police Const. Valérie Gignac was 25 years-old when a single shot from a high-powered rifle ended her life on Wednesday.

Gignac was the eighth Canadian officer to be killed in the line of duty this year, and only the second female officer to be shot in Canadian history.

Statistics do little to mask the tragedy or set things right. She was pursuing a career of helping others. Helping someone in need cost her her life.

I grew up in Laval. My parents moved there because it was a place where things like this didn’t happen. But they do, and no place is immune.

Think of what it must take to risk your life every time you head out to work. Police officers, even in seemingly genteel London, Ont., are willing to sacrifice it all so that the rest of us can lead our routine lives.

If you see an officer today, take a moment to thank him or her for taking that risk on our behalf each and every day.

-30-

35 comments:

Plain Jane said...

Unfortunately my last interaction with a police officer was not a pleasant one and he was abusing his authority more than I liked.

However, there was a time when I was pulled over by a state trooper because my license was expired. Turns out my license was suspended too (I apparently forgot to pay a ticket). I played dumb and he was kind enough to let me drive home despite no valid license. When he showed up for the court date, he made it a point to let the judge now how courteous I was and I got off with a warning and a relatively cheap fine. I thought that was a kind deed on the cop's part. :)

WendyWings said...

We have had many positive interactions with the police. My husband was in a very bad head on collison in August 2003 and we had a lot of dealings with the police throughout the whole process ,my husband was not at fault and due to the serious accident investigation team becoming involved ( the driver who caused the accident but of course was not "involved" in it was at the scene pretending he had just witnessed the whole thing and lied his way right through the court case etc. Unfortunetly for him they all knew he was lying LOL

Shelli said...

My husband is a police officer. He is a deputy sheriff for one of the 7 counties in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. He loves his job. Me, not so much. I worry about him, of course. Every time there is a police shooting, I worry that it is someone we know. I don't worry it is him because by the time it is on TV, I figure I would have heard already.

Mo'a said...

Unfortunately it is all to common that our police officers are in the line of fire. I have a friend who is in the State Police, every time he stops someone on the highway, he hopes there will not be an altercation that puts him in danger. It is an angry world we live in.....fortunately there is also much that is beautiful and positive. I have your blog book marked I always learn something from you.

Juggling Mother said...

We had a tragic shooting of a young female police officer here in the UK a few weeks ago. She was fairly new to the job, and the day she died was her daughters 4th birthday. It touched everyone in the country I think.

It also naturally brought up the debate about arming our police officers. And that gave me a fantastic statistic. In the UK there have been 11 police officers fatally shot over the past 24 years.

Canada is always brought up as proof that an armed population does not equal more murders (as the US is used to demonstrate the other side), yet you have had 8 officers killed this year.

The shooting here highlighted some serious problems with the reporting of incidents, but it is still a very rare occurance here. i hope it can be a rare occurance everywhere. My sympathies are with both (all) the families.

Thumper said...

My sister in law's husband is a cop...I worry quite often that he might get shot on the job. I hate that these guys are out there every day, always taking that chance...

panthergirl said...

Hm... positive experience with a cop... how's this? When I got arrested when I was 19 by an undercover cop, he asked me out after my arraignment!!! (it's a long story...I'll blog about it one of these days)

More recently a cop helped me when my Mini Cooper died on the highway and I was stuck on a very narrow shoulder...

Here by way of Michele today!

Marie said...

What a tragedy...

My experiences with police officers have been very positive. They're sooo responsive in my town. I feel confident they'll be here in a flash if I ever have to call. Any time there's trouble in our neighborhood (not often, thankfully), they come around and talk to us calmly and make us feel at ease. I have enormous respect for them.

Nice piece, Carmi!

Michele sent me... TGIF!

Alisha said...

It is such a saddening thing when a servant of the public is senselessly killed. My uncle was a State Trooper and was shot (luckily he was not seriously harmed) several years ago. I pray every night for those that work so hard to keep us safe, and I am so thankful for the work they do.

Here from Michele's, Happy Weekend!

Laurie said...

Hi, I'm here from Michelle's! Unfortunately I can't think of a positive experience with a policeman to share, although I appreciate what they do very much.

WendyWings said...

Michele sent me back , so here I am :)
( did I just sound like Renee Zwelleger in Cold Mountain then LOL )

Sandy said...

What a tragic story.

Ok, something nice - I will always remember the officer that spent some of his free-time hanging out with a group of 10-year old girl scouts. He was there to teach us about being "smart to be safe." He didn't leave that night until he was sure we were all on par.

I also always think of my friend's best friend who was off duty on 9/11. He heard about the attacks on the Trade Center and headed downtown to do whatever he needed to do just because that's the sort of guy he was - that's why he became a police man. He was there to save lives even if it cost him his own.

By the way, Michele sent me over tonight.

Plumkrazzee said...

I just posted about the emergency services in my town. (On a totally different spectrum, however!) I have the utmost respect and admiration for them. The good ones more than make up for the 'bad' ones. What a selfless profession. Respect them, indeed!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I wish I could share a really wonderful story about a great or just a cadually posotive interaction with the Police...I cannot. Oh yes, I've had a few encounters with the cops...(yes, they were "COPS"..),but almost none of them were good! I won't go into the details... too long and pretty boring, I'm afraid...but, trust me, not good...
Okay, I'll give you one little example....
YEARS AGO, my apartment was robbed....I called the Police...Here's how sympathetic THEY were, to me, 'the victim'..."Well, look at where you live???" Said in the most horrible way...WHERE I LIVED????
In a lovely apartment, NEAR Hollywood, which didn't seem dangerous to me!!!

And, I, ME...I figured out how the Burgler got in...not..NOT the police....these same unsypmathetic guys never even noticed that the lock on my door had been jimmied...HELLO???

Los Angeles does not have a good track record where the Ploice are concerned...there is a reason for that....!

Enough Said!

Tammy said...

Carmi, you're from Laval?! My hubby used to live there, I think that might be where he went to high school. :)

Michele sent me!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thank you, dear Carmi, for your very touching comment on my blog..your opinion means a great deal to me because I admire you sooo very much.

Beanhead said...

I hate it that our society has become what it has. We also got a reality check this week. Our childhood friends son was murdered on Monday at the playground. No suspect and no clues so we are all holding our children just alittle closer tonight.

Beanhead said...

ooops for here from Michele's tonight...:0)

Tara said...

I can't say I've ever had a BAD cop experience. I just feel for the family. I know it was her job, but that doesn't make it easier.
Here from Michele's tonight.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I've had a few nice experiences with police officers when my car was broke down (which seems like a daily occurrance) or when I was in an accident.

Oddly we had a state trooper gunned down a few days ago in the city.

Here via Michele's this time.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Here via Michele's.

I've has some positive experiences with police.

Growing up, the policeman who directed traffic always told us to hustle across the street, so we always called him Officer Hustle.

One time driving back to college with my friend, we were a couple cars behind a state trooper and we watched him put his hat on after manuvering behind a car. "He's going to work" I told her, and sure enough he threw on the lights and pulled over the car in front if him.

One of my friends is a trooper now, so I get to hear his stories now. He's got some funny ones.

ribbiticus said...

that is just tragic. unfortunately, the police force here is mostly seen in a negative light. although i am aware (and hopeful) that most of them are trying to do their jobs the best they can, the few bad seeds that have infiltrated their ranks have robbed them of the respect they deserve.

Star said...

One day while driving with 3 young children iin the car, they alerted me to the fact that a policeman was waving his badge out the window if his car at us. They thought it was cool. I was perplexed. My car, my kids and I wasn't speeding. However one of the back car door was not properly shut and he had chased me down in his unmarked car to tell me. Once he bought it to my attention he continued on.

sage said...

A tragedy... here via Michele's.

Carol said...

Hi Carmi,
Thanks for reminding us of the men and women that serve us by putting their lives on the line every day.
Michele sent me.

kontan said...

My last direct experience with an officer was not bad. He kindly accepted my honest lack of attention for the speed limit and allowed me to go with a warning. It was just one of those times when I was just ready to get home and not paying attention to the speed at which I pursued home!

Teaching high school we see officers on campus everyday. We have two assigned to campus and they are wonderful. Thanks for the reminder to let them know how much they are appreciated.

kontan said...

ooops, here via michele!

scrappintwinmom said...

It's always sad when an officer loses his or her life. My father was a NYC police officer for 25 or so years, and he was a great cop. My most recent interaction with NY's finest was about two weeks ago. I'd accidentally locked my babies in the car (well, my mother did, but that's a long story). We'd called 911, and the cops who responded were so great. It took them (what seemed like forever) to open my car and when they did, I began to cry. They were both very cool, and tried to put me at ease throughout the whole ordeal. Lessons learned: always keep my spare key in my pocket, and keep my mom away from my car. Here via Michele as always!

Shelli said...

Hello, Carmi. I am here again today because you came to my site via Michele's meet and greet. You left a wonderful comment on my site tonight. Thank you. I hope it would save at least one life.

You also left a comment the other day about my Christmas tree hunting post. I don't know if you know how much words from a journalist like yourself mean to an aspiring writer like myself. Thank you very much. Thanks for coming back. I really appreciate it.

Dak-Ind said...

my best friends father is a local county sherrif. without his influence in my life i never would have finished high school or become the person i am today. he encouraged me, he kept after me, a few times he offered to "lock me up" if i didnt straighten out!

now my older sonn has a county sherrif in his life. his best friends dad, just like mine!

margalit said...

Our police department isn't what you'd every call friendly or nice, but I have found a youth officer that I particularly like. He's a really understanding guy, likes teens, and tries hard to reason with kids before going further into the system. Needless to say, he was recently demoted and put into some office job. Such a shame.

Michele...

buffi said...

I have several good friends who are police officers. Most of mu interactions with police have been good. The only unpleasant ones have been my own fault (speeding, etc). I have great respect for the police.

Oh, yeah, Michele sent me tonight.

Prego said...

Thankfully most policemen's duties aren't perilous, though it's amazing how sometimes even a simple task of escorting a funeral procession can turn bad. My wife's cousin was a motorcycle cop doing just that when some jackass in a hurry pulled out to go around the cars headed to the cemetary and hit him. Fortunately he lived, but has had problems with speech and motor skills since.

I do not envy the job they do, but thank goodness for them.

PS. You grew up in Laval? Parlez vous...?

Prego said...

Je ne parle Franceis - Je suis avec Venezuela et parle espagnol. Je'aime la langue francaise - j'essaye de l'apprendre.

Back again from Michele's - I play hockey with a couple of policemen. Coolest guys - their shop talk is interesting as heck, albeit grisly.

Bhakti said...

My story has more to do with the New York City Firefighters. A bunch of guys from Engine 3 responded to my bicycle accident 8 years ago. They saved me and made sure I wasn't paralyzed, and then brought me to the hospital. Four years later, Engine 3 lost a bunch of their men and women in the Twin Towers (September 11th). I'm still going through surgeries caused from that accident, but at least I'm alive.

I praise all men and women who risk their lives for the benefit of us all! :)