McPherson Police Chief Rob McClarty made some public remarks this morning at the city commission meeting regarding yesterday’s violence against police officers across the nation.
“Since the beginning of time, bad guys have been killing good guys with guns,” Chief McClarty began. “It was a bloody day for law enforcement in the United States.”
An officer in San Antonio was killed in his patrol car when a gunman snuck up from behind and shot him in the head. The officer had been pulled over near police headquarters and was writing out a ticket.
“We then saw a police officer in St. Louis, Missouri shot multiple times,” Chief McClarty said. “Hours later, an officer in Florida, and then again in a suburb of Kansas City.”
Those officers did survive their shootings.
The man who killed the officer in San Antonio is still on the loose. The other suspects in Sunday’s shootings have all been apprehended. One was shot and killed by police during the manhunt.
Chief McClarty continued his remarks, “As a chief of police, I continually see the public placing higher expectations on the services, care, and professionalism to the officers who respond to their calls of service.” He then added that the McPherson Police Department will continue to strive to meet those demands.
“Unfortunately, we’re all too often seeing officers becoming targets in ambush attacks, drive-by shootings, and other attacks. It’d be a mistake to fail to mention the ascension of violence which has been occurring across our nation.”
Chief McClarty said that law enforcement violence doesn’t have to happen locally for it to hit close to home.
“Well, those events have not happened in our community as of yet. [But] Each one of them has an emotional and psychological impact on the officers who serve our community, just as they do on all law enforcement, everywhere.”
Chief McClarty asked the public to continue to pray for the safety of law enforcement officers locally and across the nation, and to pray for their families and the stress they endure.
“On behalf of the first responders in our community, we truly enjoy the support that we have from within our own city and county,” Chief McClarty said. “We’ll continue to strive to improve the broken relationships, even within our own community, of those who don’t support law enforcement.”
Chief McClarty said that all first responders depend on the support of their communities to better fulfill the expectations placed on their service.
“It’s the overwhelming goal of every first responder to serve our communities with compassion and honor. We’ll continue to do so.
“But we, all of us, must begin to look at advanced methods of policing that have yet to even be considered in keeping our officers ever safer. And as the Chief, I will continue to do that, and I will carry it forward for as long as I am the Chief here in McPherson.”
Following Chief McClarty’s remarks, McPherson’s Fire Chief Jeff Deal offered his own public support.
“I wish to publicly proclaim that ‘The Thin Red Line,’ the fire service, stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in blue.
“We concur that this type of shameless violence is a threat to the very fabric of our society,” Chief Deal continued. “And we are in constant prayer and concern for our brothers and sisters out there on the street, and we stand united with them. And we’ll continue to pray for them as well.”