Pham's Death A Reminder All We Owe Our Police Forces

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Pham's Death A Reminder All We Owe Our Police Forces

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Pham's death a reminder all we owe our police forces


By JOE BELANGER, The London Free Press

Last Updated: March 12, 2010 12:04am

Today, Huron OPP Const. Vu Pham will be buried.

It's a tragic reminder to us all of just how dangerous the job of policing our society can be and perhaps to reflect.

The only job in the country, other than the military, where taking a bullet is a daily threat, policing is difficult and dangerous, where we ask men and women to enter situations none of us would relish and from which many of us would cower.

They are paid to go into volatile domestic disputes, to face drug-crazed addicts or alcohol-fuelled idiots, mentally-ill patients, confront armed robbers and murderers and comfort their victims, to track down and stop drunk drivers before they kill or maim, to inform parents, wives and children their loved ones are dead, to attend crash scenes where bodies are torn and dismembered and to help and comfort the injured screaming and crying for help, to run into a burning building to rescue people and not run the other way.

And they even have to do it knowing one of their own brothers or sisters in blue, such as Const. Pham, is dead or dying.

Yes, there are bad police officers, just as there are bad hardcore criminals, corrupt politicians and greedy business people who steal people's life savings or put profits ahead of worker or public safety. Their ranks reflect society.

But the bad are few. Any reasonable person knows the vast majority of police officers are people who believe in the importance of the law and upholding it, who relish the job of protecting their community and will, if called, go into dangerous situations and put their own lives on the line to save the lives of others.

Yet what do they get most of the time?

They are blamed for injuries, usually a bruise but sometimes a broken bone, when an obnoxious drunk resists arrest and thinks it's their right to ignore a police command, or even push or strike an officer.

They are regularly criticized, individually and collectively, for the cost of putting them on the street.

And, yes, police officers do make honest mistakes.

The funeral of Const. Pham is a stark and sad reminder to us all that it's a small price we pay, indeed.

Joe Belanger is a Free Press crime reporter.

E-mail or follow JoeBatlfpress on Twitter.

Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer.
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