- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Those of us who work in the criminal justice system cringe every time we get word of the death of a law enforcement officer, regardless of the locality. Wearing the badge is both an honor and peril, as evidenced by the recent slaying of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller, who was serving a warrant at the time of his death (“Slain deputy honored for service,” Nation, Tuesday).

Warrant service is a dangerous aspect of any officer’s duties. Officers never fully know who or what is behind closed doors, and their mere presence on a scene puts them in harm’s way, regardless of how well-armed they are or how much backup they field.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who attended Hotsinpiller’s funeral on Tuesday, said what every person in this country should support and applaud: “I am here on behalf of a grateful nation.”

Wearing the badge and serving the community in a public-safety capacity is one of the most honorable deeds anyone can do. Facing an increasingly dangerous society, these public servants make tremendous sacrifices - including their lives - for the public safety and security of us all. For that, we should be forever indebted and eternally grateful.


Adjunct professor

Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University

Fairfax, Va.

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