Vargas: This has been one of the deadliest weeks for law enforcement in years


This has been one of the deadliest weeks for law enforcement officers in years. Over the past week, seven officers have died in the line of duty. Each of them was killed while fulfilling their oath to protect and serve. Each had families that will be forever changed. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their coworkers and families.

Here is a recap of the incidents this week:

Riverdale, Ga. — On Feb. 11, 2016 Riverdale, Ga. Major Greg Barney was shot and killed while assisting members of the Clayton County Police Department serve a warrant. When officers knocked on the door, the suspect ran out of a back door and encountered Major Barney. The suspect shot Major Barney in the torso and arm as he fled.

Major Barney was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Riverdale Police Department for 26 years. He is survived by his wife and children.

Fargo, N.D. — On Feb. 10, 2016, Fargo, N.D. Officer Jason Moszer was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. The subject, who was armed with multiple long guns, called dispatchers after barricading himself inside of his home and told them he was going to shoot at officers. The subject then shot Officer Moszer, who had set up on a perimeter location.

Officer Moszer served with the Fargo Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Harford County, Md. — On Feb. 10, 2016, Harford County, Md. Sheriff’s Deputies Patrick Dailey and Mark Logsdon were both shot and killed.

The deputies had been dispatched to a restaurant at 3412 Merchant Blvd. in Abingdon after a report was received that the subject was there. Deputy Dailey located the man sitting at a table inside of the restaurant and engaged him in conversation. Without warning, the man produced a handgun and fatally shot Deputy Dailey in the head.

The man fled into the parking lot where other deputies located him. The suspect opened fire on the deputies, striking Deputy Logsdon. Despite being wounded, Deputy Logsdon was able to return fire, along with other deputies, killing the subject.

Deputy Dailey served with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for 30 years. He is survived by his two children.

Deputy Logsdon served with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Tulare County, Calif. — Deputy Sheriff Scott Ballantyne and Mr. James Chavez, a civilian pilot, were killed in an airplane crash.

The aircraft was assisting deputies on the ground who were searching for a subject wanted for brandishing a firearm. The aircraft was preparing to leave the area after the suspect was arrested when it suddenly lost altitude and crashed into a mountain.

Deputy Ballantyne and Mr. Chavez were the only occupants.

Deputy Ballantyne served with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office for 27 years. He is survived by his mother and sister.

Mesa County, Colo. — On Feb. 10, 2016 Mesa County, Colo. Sheriff’s Deputy David Geer was shot and killed while investigating reports of an armed subject. While in the area he spotted a teenager who matched the description of the suspect. As Deputy Geer spoke to the teen, the boy asked him if he was being detained. When Deputy Geer told him he was, a struggle ensued.

Deputy Geer deployed a taser. However, the suspect was able to pull out a handgun and open fire. Deputy Geer was struck multiple times, including in the face. He was able to radio for assistance but had become unresponsive by the time another deputy arrived at his location. Deputy Geer remained on life support until his organs could be donated.

The teen was arrested a short time later after being found hiding in the backyard of a nearby home.

Deputy Geer served with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Seaside, Ore. — On Feb. 5, 2016, Seaside, Ore. Sgt. Jason Goodding was shot and killed as he and another officer attempted to serve a warrant.

The officers saw the suspect walking along the street and recognized him as having an active felony warrant. The suspect resisted arrest and was tased. However, he was still able to shoot Sgt. Goodding three times. Another officer on scene was able to return fire and killed the subject.

Sgt. Goodding served with the Seaside Police Department for 13 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Joe is a retired Anaheim Police Department captain. You can reach him at