In a rural community like Floyd, we know most of the law enforcement officers of the Sheriff’s department or the State Troopers assigned to our county.
They are friends we see in church, shopping for food at the grocery stores, dancing at The Friday Night Jamboree and patrolling our roads and keeping our lives safe.
Fortunately, the demographic makeup of Floyd County does not create opportunities for profiling of our residents. We do not see news stories of violent events surrounding the actions of our deputies are troopers. The last officer-involved shooting involved a man who tried to run down a deputy in a domestic situation and a trooper had to take him out to save lives.
That was seven years ago. Police reports show few incidents where a cop in Floyd County has to even touch his weapon.
We’re lucky to have an environment where violence is not commonplace in our county. Given the drug problems we do have in Floyd County, it is even more remarkable.
Still, we need to recognize that all of our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each and every time they go out and do their jobs. Enforcing the law is a risky business and is becoming more and more so with each passing day in a society where killings of police officers dominate the news.
My first news “beat” at The Roanoke Times in 1965 was covering the city and county police operations. I was honored to know some of them very well. Some were car enthusiasts and we would gather at the Starkey Drag Strip in the 60s to work on and drive cars in competition.
I’m fortunate to call a number of Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputies and Virginia State Troopers friends. I know other officers who I serve with on the advisory board of the New River Valley Alcoholism Safety Action Program (VSAP). A number of officers from several departments prayed with Amy when I was near death in the intensive care unit of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in 2012.
Those who choose to enforce the laws of our county, our Commonwealth and our nation deserve our thanks and our support in these troubled times.
Let’s please be thankful they are among us.
And say “thank you” to each of them every chance you get.