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Other Opinions: The police face danger every day

The incident a few days ago during which law enforcement officers exchanged gunshots with a criminal suspect was a reminder of the dangers and unpredictability of police work. In a community that enjoys the lowest violent crime rate in the nation, it's easy to forget that police officers never know when or where they will face the potential for injury or death.

On April 3, three Clay County sheriff's deputies and a Fargo police officer fired their weapons during a confrontation with a kidnapping suspect, Vincent Degidio Jr. Degidio traded gunshots with the officers. He was hit and remains in a Fargo hospital. Earlier this week the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension determined the deputies and officer were justified in firing their weapons during the incident.

It all seems so cut and dried. But anytime deadly force is used in apprehending a criminal suspect, the risk to law enforcement officers rises. In the April 3 confrontation, the criminal suspect was armed and fired his weapon. The situation could have turned tragic for any one of the officers. The danger was as real as it gets.

It's vital, therefore, for the citizens who pay for law enforcement to understand the nature of the job. It's important for taxpayers to support police officers and sheriff's deputies who, when asked to do so, go into dangerous situations without hesitation. They not only mouth the words "to protect and serve," they live them every day on the job. -- The Forum

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