Tuesday, February 17, 2009

War on police

It is hard to fathom what is happening on the streets of Philadelphia.

But it’s not hard enough to envision what will happen Friday inside the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Unfortunately we have seen the sad scenario all too often.

The long blue line will gather once again on Friday to bury one of their own.

Officer John Pawlowski was gunned down Friday night after arriving at a call for a street disturbance.

He was met with gunfire from a suspect who had concealed the gun in the pocket of his coat. He didn’t even bother to draw his weapon; he just opened fire.

Officers had asked him several times to show them his hands. Instead he showed them exactly what he thought of the uniform and the badge.

It’s a recurring theme.

Pawlowski is the sixth Philadelphia officer killed in the line of duty in the last 16 months.

It is dangerous work. Cops know that when they put on the uniform.

But today they battle something else. They battle the knowledge that there are those in society who do not blink when confronted with the men and women charged with enforcing law and order on our streets.

The suspect charged in Pawlowski’s killing had been involved in an argument with a hack cabbie during what police describe as a holdup. When his victim indicated he was calling police, the suspect replied he would shoot both him and the responding officer.

He soon made good on his threat, and did just that.

While Philadelphia prepares to say goodbye to another officer and gentleman, a newylwed with a pregnant wife at home, police in other areas must be wondering what happened to the respect once offered to the badge.

Early Sunday morning police in Chester chased down a suspect after they witnessed him blowing through a stop sign. The suspect crashed his car. Instead of surrendering, he pointed a gun at responding officers. When he refused to drop his weapon, officers fired several shots at him, wounding him in the process.

They were not alone in putting their lives in danger on these increasingly mean streets.

Friday night, just a few hours before Pawlowski was fatally shot, another Philly officer was in the line of fire, and again the undercurrent here seems to be complete disregard for the badge.

Allan Thomas, of Yeadon, was stopped on 48th Street near Walnut in West Philly. Officers smelled marijuana when they approached the car. Thomas was asked to get out of his vehicle. Instead, according to police, he attacked the officer, punching and kicking them. He got back in his car and gunned it. He dragged two officers about 15 feet.

Thomas, who has 17 arrests on his record, remains on the loose.

Something has to change. Before we lose one more officer.

2 Comments:

Anonymous e said...

It's time to get tough on crime. Society is so quick to blame a gun as the problem instead of the triggerman. Everyone asks "what is happening?" The answer couldn't be more obvious. We allow violent predators to walk amongst us and are too quick to forgive them for their violent past. Then we are shocked when they strike again. The criminal justice system is where the failure lies. The legislature needs to amend more laws to have stiff minimum mandatory prison sentences and take away the District Attorneys ability to plea out these cases by choosing to not prosecute the minimum mandatory charges. Violent criminals should be prosecuted for every crime they commit, stand trial for each violent/gun crime they commit and serve the entire punishment for each offense they commit. The more crimes they commit, the longer they stay off the street. You carry a gun illegally, you do five years. If the serial # is filed off when you're carrying it, you do five more after that. If that gun is stolen, add two more years to the 10 he's already getting. If he commits a robbery during this case, add 5 more years. Now the robber with the stolen gun is locked up for 17 years instead of being out in less than 2 to kill a young policeman. He's a stone cold killer before he kills.... keep him in jail where he belongs. The laws are already in place. The system doesn't use them and we can't see that?

February 18, 2009 at 4:08 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

End the war on drugs and it will snip the War on police in the butt. Society as a whole will begin to earn respect back for police when they go after dangerous criminals rather than people who possess small amounts of drugs in their home. I don't wanna see a war on the citizens which is exactly what the war on drugs is and I dont want to see a war on police tiehr because we need protection from true criminals. We need to restore the bond between the public and the police force, ending the war on drugs would be a big first step.

April 22, 2011 at 7:50 PM 

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