A tragedy has befallen our local community. Sgt. Cory Wride of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office was killed in the line of duty. A routine stop to help a motorist in need. Something done every day, a kind act, resulted in the loss of his life. It breaks my heart for his family, and it terrifies me.
I have sat today, glued to the television waiting for every update. Wanting someone to say, this is isolated and it will never happen again. But it does, over and over again. Officers responding to a call, trying to keep the public safe, are all but safe themselves. Every stop a risk, every call a game of roulette.
I am an officer’s wife. I am not noble. I do not give my life to the service of others every day. I do not vow to work any hour needed to protect and to serve. No I do not do that, but, my husband, he does do that and so much more every single day.
I have not been an officer’s wife for very long. My husband just joined the force a couple of years ago. I was somewhat un-supportive of the decision at first. This was a big change for our family and I was nervous, but I came around so my husband could follow his dream, and I am so glad that I did. He was made to be a cop. He is protective, supportive, kind, caring, and most of all he cares about the community as a whole. He wears his uniform with pride and class. I am very proud of him. I know when he goes to work every day that he is doing something that he loves and something that really matters. He is an amazing example to our children, and I am proud of him.
I am also fearful. He is not in the most dangerous department in the country. It is not common that he will be in a high risk situations, and he is probably in one of the most community supported departments in the state. This is good.
However, this is also bad, very bad, because high risk is not always common, the level of protection may not always be there to keep my husband safe. I know my husband is good and takes precautions just Like Sgt. Wride, but, he may be the only one to respond to an all too common, driver in need of assistance too. I worry about him and those that he works with.
Every day our officers put their lives on the line. They do it willingly, it is a part of the job. They are the first called when something goes wrong, the first to respond to an accident, and the first to walk into dangerous situations to the protect the lives of citizens of their community. Every day they go to work knowing there is risk. They are amazing individuals. I respect them.
I also have great respect for Sgt. Wride’s wife and family. I cannot even understand what they are going through at this difficult time, but I am sure there is a lot of anger. Anger at the man who killed their loved one, their hero. Anger at the job for not keeping him safe-it isn’t supposed to happen this way. Anger for all the missed moments while their husband was working swing, then grave, then day, then weekend, then weekday….so that their schedules made it difficult to spend quality time together. Anger. I am also sure that there will be a lot of pride coming soon. Pride for the man who gave all to others. Pride for the sacrifice that each one of them made so that he could save the lives that there is no doubt that he did. Pride for the man that showed all of us what humanity looks like.
To all the police officers and their families….Thank you! Trust me, I know it can be hard, but it matters…and it is appreciated.