(Video of the moving eulogy by Lt. Eric Paul at the funeral of Officer Daryl Pierson)
It’s been more than a week since Rochester Police Department’s Officer Daryl Pierson was gunned down by a repeated parole violator he was trying to apprehend, and just a few days since Pierson’s funeral and the community-wide gathering in his honor. While there was a memorial last night at the East Rochester High School football game (Pierson grew up here, attended school here, and lived here with his wife and two young children) the press has moved on to other, more pressing subjects.
But this morning, a young wife and her children awoke, just one of thousands of days ahead of them as they learn to live without their husband and father.
And this morning, hundreds of police officers across our community pinned on their badges, strapped on their guns, and went out to do the same job that killed Officer Pierson.
It’s been on my mind this week that while our community has rallied around the Pierson family, the Rochester Police Department and other area law enforcement, it’s only natural that our devotion will wane as we move farther and farther from the event that shook our city just 10 days ago.
That bothers me. I’m the daughter of a police officer; my dad is a retired Gates cop. I know firsthand the toll the job can take on a family, a marriage, a life.
I think the vast majority of people in Rochester understand that the police are the good guys. Are there bad apples here and there? Sure, but they’re a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the family of men and women who wear a badge.
That’s why you hear about the bad ones; it’s not a big news story when a cop goes to work and no one complains, when he serves a warrant and takes the criminal into custody without incident, when he stops a car and apprehends the suspect and no one is killed.
I know that you believe they’re the good guys, too. But even so, I think most people take for granted that when they dial 911, there’s an officer on duty – and what that means for him and his family. Continue reading