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Slain Indy police officer opens eyes of local law enforcement communityPosted Friday, January 28, 2011, at 10:39 AM
Another police officer has been shot down in the line of duty.
This time the murder happened in Indianapolis.
There's a close brotherhood among all police officers that runs deep, and when one brother hurts, they all hurt.
It gets personal and it should.
Inman serves as president of the Greene County Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge and he knows how a senseless act like this can affect his local law enforcement brothers.
The photo on Deputy Inman's Facebook page -- and other police officers -- is of a Indianapolis police officer's badge, draped in black that reads: "Pray 4 Moore"
The badge refers to 29-year-old Indianapolis Metro Police officer David Moore, who was brazenly gunned down by a convicted felon Sunday morning in Indianapolis. Moore didn't die until Wednesday morning when his family took him off of life-support machinery because his body was ravaged beyond coming back from the injuries caused by the four bullets -- two in the head -- that were fired during a traffic stop.
The Indianapolis Star reports that 60-year-old Thomas Hardy was driving north in the 3400 block of North Temple Avenue when Moore pulled him over. Moore ran the plate of the gold 1998 Toyota Camry on his in-car computer. Moore learned the car had been reported stolen Dec. 22.
Moore got out of his car and asked Hardy to get out of his.
A witness heard four shots, a pause and three more. Moore's gun was still holstered when police found him lying directly in front of his patrol car, the Star reported.
Moore was a young police officer who came from a law enforcement family.
His mother is IMPD Sergeant Joanne Moore. His father, retired IMPD Lt. Spencer Moore, is known for founding the Crime Stoppers operation.
The slain officer was honored as Rookie of the Year in 2004.
Moore had also been named IMPD Officer Of The Year. This past year, David was awarded the Medal Of Valor.
I'm sure the incident in Indy serves as a wake-up call to every law officer -- even those here in Greene County -- who start their shift knowing this could be their last.
Law enforcement officers across the county are increasingly being targets.
According to the New York Times, 13 officers have been shot, killing four and leaving several in critical conditions, in the last 14 days. Eleven of the shootings occurred within a 24-hour window.
It's gotten so bad that four officers were wounded in Detroit when a gunman entered a neighborhood police precinct station and opened fire.
The January shootings follow a year in which overall police deaths increased 40 percent from 2009, including a 20 percent spike in the number killed by gunfire.
Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell says incidents like the Moore shooting and other assaults on policemen are always on the minds of officers when they go on duty.
He said much training goes into traffic stops with his department.
"We train for it, but of course it's a possibility that it could always happen. It's an extremely unfortunate incident in Indianapolis," Jerrell said. "We've had meetings here (in Linton) over it and discussed it and discussed security measures."
Jerrell said the police shootings hit home.
"Every time something like this happens, I think every officer -- not just here, but everywhere -- it brings realization that these jobs are dangerous and hazardous."
Greene County Sheriff Terry Pierce called the incident an eye-opener for his department -- even if they are located in a rural area 90 miles away from Indianapolis.
"It opens everybody's eyes that things are closer to home than what we think. We are in a small rural area and it can happen here as well," he said.
Pierce said too often officers here in the county do become too relaxed at traffic stops. He did say it is very comforting to him when he sees both hands of a person placed on the steering wheel as he approaches a vehicle.
"We don't encounter that (traffic stops) the way they do in the bigger cities. But they should. Indianapolis is pretty close to home," Pierce stressed. "This is an eye-opener. Obviously, it was heart-breaking. The young man was doing his job. It's a shame."
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at email@example.com .
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