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Officer’s last words should be remembered

Much of the public’s attention on law enforcement personnel during the past several weeks has focused on the tiny minority of them who deserve to be called “bad cops.” The enormous number of good officers, deputies, troopers and agents ought to be remembered first.

One of them, Toledo, Ohio, police Officer Anthony Dia, wrote a letter to his family. They opened it after he was shot and killed last weekend by a drunk who later took his own life.

Dia was just 26. He had been a policeman for two years. He left behind a wife and two young sons.

“Tell my family I love them,” were his last words.

“I hope I died with bravery,” Dia wrote in his letter. He did.

But it is another line of his missive that bears special attention, because it sums up how the overwhelming majority of law enforcement personnel feel about what they do.

“Every day I put on the uniform, it was my intention to protect the weak and innocent in my community from evil,” Dia wrote.

Few in what we refer to as “the thin blue line” use such language about what they do. Most, with the same dedication, put it in simpler terms: To protect and serve.

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