Thank you to the members who came out for our March meeting at Danny Potts in Cheektowaga, NY. It was our first-time meeting there, as we are trying different geographical locations to assist our members in attending. The parking, food and hospitality were great. It was a member’s only meeting and we had 45 present. The split club, of $93.00, was drawn by Jerry Butler and won by 1st VP Bob Koch.
Unfortunately, we see reports of the rise in crime and the climbing murder rates in the U.S., especially in our urban areas. It is said that the rates, which had been falling for years, are now reflecting those high trends of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. At a recent conference of the National Organization of Black Enforcement Executives, FBI Director John Wray stated, “We all know that, at all levels of government, our most fundamental duty is to safeguard people’s right to live without fear of violence”. Wray noted that nearly one-half of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year were ambushed.
In 2021, according to the “Officer Down Memorial”, there were 589 line of duty deaths (416 from COVID). The job of being in law enforcement as support staff, medical personnel, dispatcher, a deputy, trooper, corrections, court, or police officer is increasingly becoming more dangerous as our society becomes more disposed to lawlessness. Our criminal justice system is lacking in holding offenders accountable and implementing swift consequences for criminal activities, while victims of crime continue to suffer the consequences.
Sir Robert Peel, who is considered the “father of modern policing” is quoted as saying: “The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence”. His concept is as true today as it was in 1829 when he started the Metropolitan Police in London. We, from the law enforcement roots, need to support each other, whether still active or retired, in the
mission we chose for our lifelong careers. That is why the Badge & Shield Club continues the tradition to honor our retirees and awardees at our 44th annual Awards and Retirement Dinner this October.
Another opportunity is National Police Week celebrated May 11th – 16th, 2022. It is a time to remember our fallen comrades and to show our gratitude for those still serving the public. Locally, there is usually a morning ceremony on the 1st Monday of Police Memorial Week at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Franklin Street and a wreath laying ceremony just down the street at our local Police Officer Memorial. We have five names of ECSO members killed in the line of duty on the memorial: Deputies Frederick Kaesser (1893-1925), Joseph Wachowiak (1902-1948) , William Dils (1925-1977), Robert Insalaco (1943-1987), and William Dillemuth (1944-1989). Let’s plan to come out and show our respect and support for our women and men of law enforcement. I hope to see you there this May!