Being a police officer in today’s world is never easy. The range of training that an officer must go through before being sworn-in is tremendous. One must be able to deal with gang issues, domestic violence, child abuse, violent murder, people high on drugs and people released too early from mental health facilities due to lack of funding.
Today, leaving the day’s problems at the police station doors can no longer be done.
Our society has become hardened to the tragedies that we see played out on a too often basis like the recent shooting in Las Vegas. Most of us see the images on television or video, but never up close like a police officer.
No one can ever grow immune or become dehumanized from these horrors.
When a police officer must shoot a person to protect the innocent bystanders, while it can be justified, the toll it takes on police officer is high.
This was the case with Officer Joe Pepicelli, last April, when he needed to use deadly force to stop a knife-wielding man from hurting innocent bystanders. Pepicelli had to make the decision of using his gun in about minute.
One can expect that Pepicelli will go over the events of that minute for the rest of his life. As a community, we should be cognizant that the training has been put in place for all Everett officers as to when to use deadly force.
All officials at the ceremony honoring Massachusetts police officers agreed that Pepicelli made the right decision in order to protect innocent bystanders. We congratulate Officer Pepicelli on his receiving the Hanna Award for Bravery at a State House ceremony last week, and thank him for his action that likely saved several innocent lives.