The parents of two fallen officers met last week in Pikeville and shared stories about their son’s bravery. One parent offered a gift of a shield to the family of a local fallen officer as a gesture of healing and hope.

The mother of fallen Trooper Cameron Ponder, Benda Tiffany, gave a commemorative shield to the family of fallen Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton. Trooper Ponder was on a routine traffic stop that went bad when he lost his life in western Kentucky in 2015. Officer Hamilton stumbled upon a volatile situation where a bad guy with a gun shot him in cold blood during an investigation. Neither Ponder nor Hamilton deserved to die.

The offering of the shield from one family to another with state and local law enforcement present was a very somber moment. One of the mothers of the fallen officers asked, “Why do people still want to be in law enforcement?” The question was rhetorical. I know a lot of police officers and troopers, they are regular people who took a pledge to do a job, which is to protect and serve. And in general, the public should be grateful for their service because we never know what is in store for them at any given moment.

Each day when the men and women who are first responders, leave their homes they and their families never know if they will be coming home. Additionally, when they do their job they never know what to expect.

Last week, while state troopers were investigating a fatal accident, according to KSP, they encountered a vehicle that was being pursued by another agency as it broke through a barrier and became a deadly weapon at very high speed. The troopers pulled their weapons and eliminated the threat to them, the public and other first responders by killing the driver of the out of control car.

They teach you a lot at the police academy, but I have failed to find out where they teach you how to respond to a threat of a car speeding being used as a weapon. The trooper(s) who shot and killed the driver used their instinct and did their job by protecting themselves and others.

Yes, drawing their weapons and in the worst-case scenario, firing it to stop a threat is part of the job. But this incident didn’t have to happen if the driver would have stopped and faced the consequences for whatever caused the chase in the first place.

Fortunately for these troopers, they are still alive. They, too, deserve some sort of accolade for their instinct that kicked in and stopped a threat of other lives.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the fallen officers. Our hearts and prayers need to go out to every officer who puts on a uniform each day and chooses to serve their community.

Thank you to the families of the fallen officers. And, kudos to the troopers who eliminated a very real threat to them and the public.

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