A DANGEROUS JOB
Across the Midlands and our nation, police officers, sheriff's deputies, state troopers and federal authorities suit up daily for the life-threatening work of serving felony arrest warrants.
Last week, a gun-toting target of one such warrant reminded us about the dangers of that work. He shot Omaha Officer Kerrie Orozco, leaving her family, city and country to grieve.
But today, much like the day Orozco was shot and on each day after, law enforcement officers got up, got dressed and went to work to find the next set of accused felons fleeing justice.
As recent events underscore, it's important to remember the unique risks those officers, deputies, troopers and agents take on our behalf. They hunt and arrest the criminal world's worst.
These are the suspects accused of felony assault and murder, wanted for robberies, drug deals, rapes and other assorted evils, as The World-Herald's Emerson Clarridge reported.
The shooting that killed Orozco, 29, and felony assault suspect Marcus D. Wheeler, 26, was the fourth time in five years that a Nebraska fugitive, officer or both were shot during warrant service.
The warrant task force Orozco was assigned to help is a multi-agency, elite law enforcement team staffed by seven local and federal police agencies that serve the Omaha area.
Ed Leahy, who leads the Douglas County Sheriff's Office's separate fugitive-hunting unit, isn't using hyperbole when he says, "Things can go sideways, for whatever reason."
They can and often do. But for law-abiding Midlanders and the victims of crimes both heinous and small, the service performed by officers who risk life and limb to serve these felony arrest warrants means a lot.
By tonight, it means another bad guy in jail. God willing, without the bloodshed that took beloved Officer Kerrie Orozco from her husband and his kids, her baby and a grateful community.