The shooting spree that left two sheriff’s deputies dead and another deputy and a civilian wounded again dramatically illustrates how dangerous police work can be, and how grateful the community should be that men and women step up to do this job.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver, 47, a husband and a father of two daughters, was remembered as a model officer.
A 15-year veteran, he had served as a member of the problem-oriented policing team, a unit dedicated to working with the community to head off crimes before they occur.
Placer County Deputy Michael David Davis Jr. also was killed Friday – 26 years to the day after his father had been killed in the line of duty in Riverside County.
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Oliver approached a car off Arden Way where an AR-15 rifle-bearing gunman shot him in the head. Imagine the bravery these deputies exhibit every day.
Ask yourself whether they deserve every possible honor we can offer. For an officer to die in a Motel 6 parking lot for no known reason is a tawdry backdrop for indescribable courage. That assault weapons remain on the streets is a travesty.
Following this crime, the gunman and his female companion set off on a carjacking spree, leading schools into lockdown. This swath of fear ended because more brave officers put their lives on the line, as they do each and every day, with the arrest in Auburn of Marcelo Marquez, 34.
Officers take their share of criticism. But ask the thousands of citizens who were terrified across two counties, in homes and schools and stores, if these officers’ sacrifices made them feel like someone was on their side.
What two deputies gave was something that the average citizen cannot. The courage all the officers and deputies exhibited Friday was a gift to the community, which at times feels hunted and under siege.
The rest of us can give one thing: heartfelt, fervent thanks.