Guest column: Mourning deaths of fellow officers with mixed emotions and a pledge

Friday, July 8, 2016 at 6:39 pm

By Rob Snaza
Lewis County Sheriff

As your sheriff, I can’t help but express my sadness for those who were injured and courageously lost their lives in the line of duty last night in Dallas.

What we do know is that these officers were killed and injured simply for the badges they pin over their hearts, doing what they swore to uphold, law and order and keeping their community safe.

2015.0500.Sheriff RobertSnaza.portrait

Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza

We mourn the loss of our fellow officers and I am praying for their families, friends, and loved ones, and all the people of Dallas affected by this horrifically tragic event as they struggle to cope and understand.

Reflecting, I am truly overcome with mixed emotions, feelings of anger, bewilderment and disgust, to tears of sadness and helplessness, but most of all, emotions of what is next for us in public service.

It’s so very important for everyone to know just how proud I am of the men and women who work for the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the phenomenally important work they do, day in and day out, protecting and serving our community. I am also proud of all those who put on the badge and commit themselves to serve their communities across this great nation, may we never forget who and why we serve.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office motto is, “Public Safety through Professional Service,” and our folks live that motto day in and day out, remaining committed to it without pause or fail.

These tragic events happening across the country cause me to think of where we are at in today’s society, what we can do better, and what needs to be collaboratively addressed.

I know that together we can and will continue to make a difference.

I believe in the freedom of speech and the right to peacefully protest, but I refuse to condone any sort of violence associated with these rights we enjoy.

The First Amendment gives the freedom of speech, but nowhere does it say to cause violence, destruction of property, mayhem, or worse.

What I do believe in is, “All Lives Matter,” regardless of ethnicity, religion, or beliefs. We are sworn to protect and serve all citizens.

As a career law enforcement officer, some 25 years ago I took that oath and have never deviated from it.

As your sheriff, I pledge to you that the men and women of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office are and always will be committed to serving our communities and providing the very best we can in law enforcement as we strive to provide public safety through professional service.

Thank you for giving me the honor to serve as your sheriff, and I thank all the women and men of the sheriff’s office for choosing to serve our community.

7 Responses to “Guest column: Mourning deaths of fellow officers with mixed emotions and a pledge”

  1. Nancy Fay says:

    Thanks and prayers to all our officers, protectors, locally, nationally and internationally. Dallas breaks my heart and I am grateful to see all the compassionate people coming forth.

  2. Peabody Slim says:

    Remember the biker shooting in Waco Texas, wonder why the Dinosaur Media won’t say anything about it? Pure murder that’s why. Unarmed men were gunned down in America and now the police are trying to delay the trials so the statue of limitations run out. Need more info on this since the News is keeping a lid on this. Go to Aging Rebel .com. Folks youtube is full of thousands of police brutality incidents that the Media won’t show you. Police are shooting dogs on leashes to. Its fumny the UPS drivers never have to kill a dog just the police. The answers simple stop allowing the police to investigate themselves, mandatory Dash Cameras and Body Cameras, the brutality game is over. Technology has caught up to the police and they don’t like it. Yeah it’s great thay the sheriff mumbled out some kind words but the problem is going to only increase if police accountability continues to be overlooked as a direct cause to police officer deaths. Like I said this Towns police have no body or dash cameras, wouldn’t you want to protect both parties with modern recording technology if you have nothing to hide? I’m sure you won’t post this Sharyon it’s factual are hurts so many pig lickers out there.

  3. Roberta Pickrell says:

    Seriously, this is the only thing you can think to say to this heart felt commentary. Our sheriff is trying to show his respect for this community as well as for his job. We are lucky to have someone who cares about our community in office. His deputies are respectful and kind. Again we are lucky that he cares about how they treat this community.

  4. william lipf says:

    I am so tired od peace officers being killed in the line of duty-We as citizens need to step up and support them and if needed help them as much as possible to do their jobs safely.

  5. CrazyOldMan says:

    I have met Sheriff Snaza under sad circumstances and was very impressed with him both as a human being and as sheriff. I believe that he is extremely professional, honest, has compassion, and we are lucky to have him as Sheriff of Lewis County.

    That said, the Black Lives Matter protests are about resentment by members of the black community for what they see as arbitrarily applied justice and use of force by police officers. The big city police have resentments also as they have to deal with these young, physically intimidating, and often armed repeat felons every day.

    There are Lewis County residents who are resentful of the Sheriff’s department for what they have perceived, rightly or wrongly, as arbitrarily or unequally applied enforcement of the law.

    In the case of a friend who’s son was nearly stabbed to death and the perpetrator walks totally free because of favoritism of a high ranking sheriff’s officer, his resentment is very strong. He just had to stuff it and live with it as there was no overseeing body within the sheriff’s department which he could appeal to.

    This case happened late in Sheriff Mansfield’s term and Sheriff Snaza appointed another man to this officer’s position at the start of his term. Perhaps he had similar reasons for doing so.

    I also realize that, with civil service positions, there is probably a limited amount that a sheriff can do, even if he wanted to when it comes to personnel matters.

    I would urge the Sheriff to seek forums to hear community resentments and perhaps set up a stronger, more transparent, and community accessible, internal affairs department to independently review such cases.

  6. Peabody Slim says:

    No dash cameras no body cameras. Looks like Technology has caught up with the police after hundreds of years of police brutality on it’s citizens they have been sworn to protect. The Dinosaur media only shows a few incidents of police brutality but in fact there are thousands each year. Remember the Waco biker shootings? Their still trying to sweep that incident under the rug. Go to Agingingrebel .com to get the latest on the biker shooting. Pure corruption. The police cannot investigate themselves it makes no sense. George Soros spent over 33 million funding the Ferguson Riots I wonder how much he’s spending Now. If you’re looking for suspects Knock on the White House door with a Search Warrant Mr. Snaza.

  7. 2BOrrNot2B says:

    Don’t forget to thank all the snitches your department has paraded through the courts for so many years in order to gain convictions.

    Without snitches, convictions would be a rarity in Lewis County.

    I know all the snitches thank the Sheriff’s department for giving them the chance to be “honest” and “respectable”, even if it is only for a couple hours.

    I understand that criminals rarely turn themselves in, and conducting investigations and collecting evidence is difficult, time consuming, and expensive.

    Your snitches provide short-cuts through all that junk. It’s like a well-oiled machine.

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