Hero of­fi­cer makes ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice

Boston Herald - - OPINION -

As an­other hor­rific crime plays out, an­other law en­force­ment of­fi­cer makes the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice. This time it was Ven­tura County Sher­iff Sgt. Ron Helus who was killed as he rushed in to the Border­line Bar & Grill to stop a mass shoot­ing in Thou­sand Oaks, Calif.

Helus was one year from re­tire­ment. Now he’ll never see that day or his wife or 24-yearold son, Ja­son.

Re­ac­tion to Helus’ brav­ery and death in the line of duty has been wide­spread. The Los An­ge­les Po­lice De­part­ment tweeted, “Sgt. Ron Helus donned his uni­form yes­ter­day as he did for the past 29 years. When gun­fire erupted, the @VENTURASHERIFF feared no evil, rush­ing to un­selfishly pro­tect his com­mu­nity … a hero that will never be for­got­ten.”

Pres­i­dent Trump also took to so­cial me­dia to show his ap­pre­ci­a­tion, writ­ing, “Great brav­ery shown by po­lice. Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol was on scene within 3 min­utes, with first of­fi­cer to en­ter shot nu­mer­ous times. That Sher­iff’s Sergeant died in the hos­pi­tal. God bless all of the vic­tims and fam­i­lies of the vic­tims. Thank you to Law En­force­ment.”

The po­lice com­mu­nity in Mas­sachusetts also felt the loss. Chelsea po­lice Chief Brian Kyes told the Her­ald, “It’s heart­break­ing to hear. … The two of­fi­cers who re­sponded to the scene were coura­geous. They rushed in there with­out know­ing where the shoot­ers were and saved nu­mer­ous lives.”

An emo­tional Ven­tura County Sher­iff Ge­off Dean said, “Ron was a hard­work­ing, ded­i­cated sher­iff sergeant. He was to­tally com­mit­ted, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.” The sher­iff said in­side the bar, six off-duty of­fi­cers shielded other pa­trons. “It was amaz­ing,” he said. In 2018 Mas­sachusetts lost two of its finest in the line of duty. Wey­mouth po­lice of­fi­cer Michael Ch­esna was shot and killed on July 15 and Yar­mouth po­lice Sgt. Sean Gan­non was gunned down on April 12.

Ac­cord­ing to the Of­fi­cer Down Me­mo­rial Page web­site, 126 law en­force­ment of­fi­cers have died in the line of duty in 2018 — 118 men and 8 women. The av­er­age age is 42 years old.

The men and women of law en­force­ment risk their lives day in and day out. Ev­ery time they say good­bye to their loved ones they know it might be the last. It is re­ported that Sgt. Helus told his wife,“I gotta go, I love you,” as he re­sponded to the shoot­ing.

It is im­por­tant that we as a so­ci­ety give law en­force­ment the great re­spect they de­serve. We must make sure our elected lead­ers are stal­wart ad­vo­cates for them and that our men and women who wear the uni­form are given the train­ing and re­sources they need.

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