- - Monday, June 9, 2014


The horrific episode that occurred in Las Vegas involving the ambush and shooting deaths of two Las Vegas police officers and a Wal-Mart customer has affected not only Las Vegas, but the entire nation (“Las Vegas shooting: 2 cops among 5 dead,” Web, June 8). Las Vegas, you are not alone. We deeply feel your loss, and the nation grieves with you.

This situation could have happened to police officers in any locality, and anyone could have become a victim in any store in the country. Everyone everywhere can identify with the horror of this scene and the devastating impact of these tragic incidents. The senseless and incomprehensible acts are incredible, the sense of loss palpable, the grief profound.

Three weeks ago, Las Vegas Sheriff Doug Gillespie was in the nation’s capital during police week to honor fallen officers at the memorial ceremony held at the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Though Sheriff Gillespie is an experienced law-enforcement official with worldly awareness and street savvy, he most likely never thought he would be comforting his own department amid the shock and grief of its own losses just weeks later.

Though police officers know they face danger when they begin their tours of duty and recognize the fact that they may not return home at the end of each day, they embark upon their public-safety duties with unremitting determination, dedication and bravery. They forthrightly put their lives on the line for the public safety of us all, as did the Las Vegas fallen, Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo. Their families, as well as their colleagues in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, are now the secondary victims, and their counterparts and friends throughout the nation also feel the unrelenting pain and sorrow.

There are no words adequate to express gratitude for the ultimate sacrifices that were made. Officers Beck and Soldo, rest in peace.


Adjunct professor

Department of Justice, Law and Society

George Mason University


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