… A Special Message from President Chuck Canterbury …
Already in 2011 there have been seventeen police officers killed in the line of duty and many injured. For the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), one is too many but seventeen is tragic. These men and women risk their lives to protect the citizens of this great nation and, in times like this, we must remember the families they have left behind. It is important to the FOP that each and every story is told.
Officer Kevin Marceau of the Dallas Police Department (TX) fought many years for his life before passing away on January 14, 2011, from complications of injuries he sustained after being struck by a vehicle while chasing a suspect.
Officer Tom Hayes of the Columbus Division of Police (OH) was shot in the back while trying to arrest two teens on a curfew violation. He succumbed to his injuries January 20, 201131 years after receiving the initial injuries.
On January 1, 2011, Clark County (OH) Sheriff’s Deputy Suzanne Hopper responded to a call of a window being shot out. After initiating the investigation, Deputy Hopper was fired upon by the assailant as he hid behind a door. With just a single shot, the assailant ended the life of not only a law enforcement officer but a wife and mother of four. Another officer was injured in the stand-off. In the end, the assailant was killed by law enforcement.
On December 27, 2010, Deputy Sheriff John Norsworthy was en route to back up another officer on a traffic stop. In his attempt to quickly back up that officer, his car left the roadway and struck a tree. He was trapped in his patrol car for almost an hour before help could get to him. He succumbed to his injuries on January 4, 2011, ending his two-year career with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office (TX).
On January 5, 2011, Chief of Police Ralph Painter responded to reports of a car being stolen. He arrived at the scene and, while attempting to take the suspect into custody, a struggle ensued. The thief was able to disarm Chief Painter and use the Chief’s gun to kill him. The suspect was apprehended by police and charged with aggravated murder. Due to the courageous effort of Chief Painter and the Rainer Police Department (OR), another cop-killer is off the streets. He was a husband and father of seven.
On January 9, 2011, Officer William Torbit Jr. of the Baltimore City Police Department (MD) responded in plainclothes to a fight at a local nightclub in Baltimore. Once on the scene, he tried to break up a fight between several females when a group of men attacked him. The situation begins to escalate and Officer Torbit draws his service weapon. Additional officers arrived at the scene, but not knowing he was a fellow officer, shot and killed him. A second officer was also shot and wounded in the incident. These officers acted in good faith but unfortunately it led to an officer killed.
On January 13, 2011, Officer Rogerio Morales was trying out for the Davie Police Department (FL) S.W.A.T team when he suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving behind his wife. S.W.A.T. helps disarm some of the worst criminals and it was very courageous to volunteer for the assignment.
On January 14, 2011, Officer Christopher Matlosz of the Lakewood Police Department (NJ) was patrolling the streets when he stopped to chat with a man walking along the road. As they talked, the man pulled out a gun and shot Officer Matlosz three times, killing him. The cop-killer fled the scene but was picked up thirty-eight hours later in Camden, New Jersey. The offender was charged with Officer Matlosz’s murder as well as another murder that had occurred in October 2010. Officer Matlosz had recently become engaged.
On January 17, 2011, Officer Larry Nehasil was conducting surveillance on a string of robberies. He and several officers witnessed two suspects breaking into a home. As officers attempted to arrest them, one of the suspects fled the scene. Officer Nehasil pursued him. The fleeing suspect fired at Officer Nehasil and fatally wounded him. Before succumbing to the injury, Officer Nehasil returned fire and killed the assailant. He was a husband, father of two children and a 20-year veteran of the Livonia Police Department (MI).
On January 20, 2011, Detective Roger Castillo and Detective Amanda Haworth, assisted by two other detectives, went to a home to serve a felony warrant. Someone inside the home opened fire killing Detectives Castillo and Haworth and wounding a third detective. The fourth detective returned fire, killing the shooter. Detective Castillo left behind a wife, also a police officer, and three sons. Detective Haworth left behind a son. Because of the courageous work of these four detectives with the Miami-Dade Police Department (FL), another murderer was taken off the streets.
On January 21, 2011, Sumter Police Department (SC) Corporal Charles Richard Nesbitt Jr. was returning to Sumter with another officer after finishing a prisoner transport. Their patrol car collided with another vehicle and, despite the efforts at a local hospital, Corporal Nesbitt died from his injuries.
On January 23, 2011, Officer David Moore approached a stolen vehicle and asked the driver to get out of the car. While outside of the car, Officer Moore was shot four times. Officer Moore, who was wearing his bullet proof vest, was shot in the chest, left thigh and twice in the face. He was taken to the hospital where he remained in a coma until being taken off life support on January 26, 2011. The cop-killer was apprehended later that evening after committing a robbery – just 45 minutes after shooting Officer Moore. He was charged with murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon. Officer Moore, a six-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IN), was also the son of officers who had served in the same department.
On January 24, 2011, a regional task force with the St. Petersburg Police Department (FL) went to a home to serve a search warrant. When questioning a family member of the suspect, they were informed the suspect was in the attic and armed. Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz was on his way home from finishing his shift when he volunteered to respond to the call. They attempted to talk the man out of the attic but were unsuccessful. Officer Yaslowitz and a member of the U.S. Marshals Service entered the attic and were shot upon entry. Another officer was able to retrieve the Marshal but not Officer Yaslowitz. The suspect continued firing from the attic, striking Sergeant Tom Baitinger. A S.W.A.T. vehicle was then used to reach Officer Yaslowitz. Both Officer Yaslowitz and Sergeant Baitinger were pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. After several hours and heavy equipment used to partially dismantle the house, the suspect was found dead in the attic. Due to the bravery of the St. Petersburg Police Department, U.S. Marshals, Officer Yaslowitz and Sergeant Tom Baitinger, a violent cop-killer is off the streets.
On January 28, 2011, New York State Corrections Officer Casimiro Pomales and another corrections officer were transporting a prisoner to a medical appointment when their car was sideswiped by another car causing their van to overturn. Both officers were transported to the local hospital where Officer Pomales was pronounced dead.
On January 29, 2011, Washington State Corrections Officer Jayme Lee Biendl was strangled by a prisoner during an escape attempt. Officer Biendl was pronounced dead at the scene despite attempts to perform CPR
January 2011 has been a deadly month for law enforcement. Our brothers and sisters in law enforcement seem to be under attack. Given these sacrifices, it has been very disturbing to the FOP to hear of so many police cuts around the Nation. Our top priority is to end violence against police officers and, by so doing, to curb violence against the citizens they protect. Our officers leave their families every day to serve us. They protect us without question, without hesitation, and often without regard for their own safety. The FOP asks that you remember and mourn these officers with us. The next time you sit down with your family, think of these officers who do not have that opportunity because they protected you. Their selfless courage and heroism is an inspiration for all.
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