Holiday Season More Dangerous For Police

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for law enforcement, it can be the scariest.

"If you've got families that aren't getting along, and you mix in alcohol with it, it can be an ugly time of the year, and unfortunately, that does come up this time of year," Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth said.

Domestic assaults are frequent during the holidays. In fact, Ingham County deputies responded to one Wednesday night.

"Going into situations like that, the emotions are very high, people aren't always thinking clearly, and they tend to make gut reactions," Ingham County Sgt. Tim O'Neill said. "That generally ends up with some sort of violence either towards each other or towards us."

This isn't just a local issue; officers are killed in the line of duty around the country more often this time of year, and that serves as a reminder to law enforcement here.

"It's something that we're aware of," Eaton County Lt. Jeff Campbell said. "We always make a habit of remembering our fallen, and in doing so I think that makes our deputies just a little more aware of how dangerous this job really can be."

For Eaton County, it hits especially close to home. They've lost three deputies in the line of duty over the years all near Christmas time. They were in common situations, like helping a driver with car trouble during bad weather and responding to a gas station robbery.

"We honor them and we remember their sacrifice, and we try to remain conscious of the threat that caused their death, and try not to let it happen to us," Lt. Campbell said. "It just helps remind us that we want to go home to our families at the end of our shift."

There have been nine officers killed nationwide in December so far. January was the worst month so far this year with 18 deaths.

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