Deadly violence against law enforcement is having an effect – KIRO 7 News Seattle


The recent wave of violence directed at law enforcement has chilled this close-knit community.

It comes as the state legislature earmarked $2.5 million this year to provide additional welfare care for state officers and deputies.

Exactly one week ago, Everett officer Dan Rocha was killed as Pierce County said goodbye to Deputy Dom Calata.

Since then, there has been an outpouring of support from the citizens of Everett for their deceased officer.

But the impact of it all is being felt acutely by law enforcement and all who care about them.

It’s now a familiar sight in western Washington. This time it’s the city of Everett showing its heartfelt support for an officer killed in a violent on-duty attack.

“Oh, yes, they’re all hurting,” Byllie Ricketts said, “and their wives too.”

Ricketts came several times this week. She says the recent violence against those who have sworn to protect and serve is misplaced.

“I mean I’ve met 200 or 300 of them,” Ricketts said. “And they are very nice. And they love the community.

“It’s getting a bit overwhelming,” said former Bremerton police officer Steve Strachan.

He says everyone who wears the uniform knows their job is dangerous. But Strachan, now executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, says hardly anyone in law enforcement is prepared for so much violence directed at them in two short weeks.

And that show of support matters.

“At times like this, when everyone is feeling raw and exhausted,” Strachan said, “and it takes that community support to kind of help everybody through it.”

In mid-March, Pierce County Deputy Dom Calata was killed, his partner seriously injured; while Everett officer Dan Rocha and off-duty Edmonds officer Tyler Steffins were killed this week. Then Thursday evening, two Olympia officers were stabbed.

Strachan blames several factors.

“Law enforcement is understaffed,” he said. “A tremendous amount of stress, concern about the environment there in terms of emboldened criminals.”

He says the Legislature’s allocation of taxpayers’ money to the mental health of MPs and officers will help ease the pain.

But everyone can play a role.

“Reach out, say ‘hey, we’re thinking of you; hey, we support you; Hi how are you? And make sure you stay safe,” he said. “It’s appreciated.”

Of course, that’s what this community did during this very sad week.

Now people here are considering saying a final goodbye to this officer, who was killed just a week ago.


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