What do Scott Pine, John Hobbs and Jason Crisp have in common? They are three of the 43 law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty this year alone. In fact, there have been 194 officers gunned down – nay, murdered – since 2010.

In 2011 alone, 63 officers were killed by gunfire for no other reason than putting on their uniform that day and attempting to serve the public they swore to protect. In some of these cases, the officers were assassinated as they arrived at a call.

The country mourns the lives lost during interactions with police. Any life lost is a tragedy, but where is the outrage, where is the sorrow, where is the public attention when a law enforcement officer is killed?

I can say with extreme confidence that no police officer ever starts their shift with the intent of taking someone’s life. I can say with absolute confidence that every police officer wants to return home at the end of their shift. Officers are forced to make life-and-death decisions countless times each day across this country, with the wrong decision potentially resulting in the loss of their own life.

To blame recent events on bias or racism by police is not only wrong at so many levels but also does a disservice to law enforcement. There’s no evidence that race played any role in these events, and any attempt to imply so is simply deflecting the truth.

Men and women take this job with the best of intentions. They undergo screening and training that few can pass and work schedules and under conditions that fewer can comprehend.

We do not seek pity or sympathy. We chose this profession and are proud to serve. We only ask for consideration of facts and an expectation of objectivity.

Steven Edmondson

Topsham Police Department, retired