Most of us have done it.
You’re driving down the street, lost in your thoughts and perhaps unaware that your speedometer has crept up a little bit, and you see that police cruiser on the side of the road, pointing a radar gun in your direction. You curse to yourself, tap the brake and internally complain about police officers.
But you also know that when shots are fired in a McDonald’s parking lot, those police officers are the ones who will go after the bad guys. And that’s what happened Tuesday night.
Responding to reports of a gun being fired in an altercation at the McDonald’s in Georgetown, Georgetown officers Ptlm. Chad Spicer and Cpl. Shawn Brittingham saw the vehicle reportedly involved in the incident. They reportedly stopped the vehicle, and chased three suspects who got out of the car and fled on foot. During this time, both officers were shot. Spicer died from his wounds.
We oftentimes take police officers for granted. We view them as a nuisance when driving, or we read or hear negative stories about them in the media. The daily efforts these men and women put in to protect law-abiding citizens and keep our streets safe get ignored in favor of sensationalistic pieces about improprieties or corruption.
Think about your own experiences reading daily metropolitan newspapers or watching the evening news. If something negative happens involving a police officer, the stories continue for days, if not months. But a story on a homicide suspect or major drug dealer being arrested almost always focuses on the suspect, not the efforts of law enforcement to make the arrest.
But we ask everyone to keep Spicer and his family in their thoughts and prayers, as well as Brittingham. These brave officers did what they do — followed bad guys in hopes of bringing them in before an innocent person was hurt. They disregarded their personal safety in order to protect the rest of us.
That’s noble. And heroic. And they did what most law enforcement personnel would do in that situation.
They did their jobs.
What we take for granted, they take as their responsibilities. Just as firefighters get credit for running into a burning building that all others are running out of, police officers should be appreciated for chasing the kind of people the rest of us cross the street to avoid.
The Coastal Point staff grieves for the Spicer family and his loss, as well as the members of the Georgetown Police Department who lost one of their own. We also offer our prayers and thoughts to the Brittinghams at this time. We are saddened by this situation, but grateful that the police risk their lives for our safety.