Vargas: Officers killed this week are heroes


In the past week four police officers have died at the hands of others in California.

Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriffs’ Det. Michael David Davis Jr. were both shot and killed by a suspect involved in a crime spree.

Joe Vargas

Joe Vargas

Ventura County Deputy Sheriff Eugene Kostiuchenko was struck and killed by a suspected drunken driver while on a car stop.

And a suspect shot Pomona Officer Shaun Diamond during a search warrant service on an outlaw motorcycle gang member.

Even for a large and busy state like California this is an unprecedented number.

All of these men had families. There are children who will grow up without a father in their lives. Young ladies will not have a daddy to walk them down the aisle on their wedding day. Grandchildren will only know their grandfathers through stories told by others. Every holiday will always have that empty chair.

Life will never be the same for anyone who was touched by these men.

Being around police officers most of my life and after serving for 30 years I still get irked at the number of people who just don’t get it.

There is nowhere in the job description for police officer it says “must be willing to die in service to others.” That is the unsaid individual choice every police officer makes when they put on the badge and takes the oath of service.

It is a choice that family members who wish their loved one goodbye as they leave for work must make, as well.

It is a choice that very few have the courage or desire to make.

But each of these officers who died this week made it.

In my book that makes them heroes and worthy of recognition for their sacrifice.