Following last Friday’s murder of two Wyandotte County Deputies, a law enforcement officer from another part of the state expressed his frustration with those who say, “That’s what they signed up for,” when they learn about violence against the police. He indicated a majority of people feel that way.
While I concede some people despise law enforcement for a variety of reasons, I’ve always felt an overwhelming amount of support from residents in Cherokee County, causing me to believe those people were small in number. Vocal yes, but small in numbers none-the-less.
Earlier today, I had the privilege to represent our county while honoring the lives, service and sacrifices of Deputies Theresa “TK” King and Patrick Rohrer.
The service was incredibly touching as we heard from Sheriff Don Ash, along with Deputy Rohrer’s friends and Deputy King’s daughter, who read a letter she had written to her mom after she died.
Following the service was a procession which included over 500 law enforcement officers from across the nation. What impressed me though was the countless number of people who lined the procession route. Elderly, young, kids, parents, white, black, Hispanic, men and women, seemingly from every demographic, some wearing suits while others appeared to be homeless, some crying, some waving, but all there to show their support for law enforcement and to help comfort those in their community who are grieving. They showed that support while standing in the rain.
The loss of two heroes who cared so much about their friends and community to serve them on a daily basis, despite the risks, saddens me. But I am also proud today. I’m proud to have chosen the same profession as Deputies Rohrer and King. I’m proud to serve in a community which doesn’t leave me and my colleagues wondering if we are supported by the citizens we serve, and I’m proud of those who speak up and vocalize that support, drowning out the noise from the small numbers of those who respond to the killing of a law enforcement officer by saying, “That’s what they signed up for.”
Please keep the families of Deputy King and Deputy Rohrer, along with their community and agency, in your prayers.
Sheriff David Groves