WEYMOUTH (CBS) – One week after their colleague, slain Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna, was laid to rest, his colleagues in Weymouth spoke about the dangers for police officers while on the job.
“Police are the boundary between a civil society and anarchy, and when somebody goes that far out of bounds to assault or kill a police officer, we’re really in a bad spiral,” said Weymouth Police Officer Ken Murphy, who is president of the Weymouth Police Patrolmen’s Union.
Soon after he spoke, on Friday, two Falmouth police officers were shot. Both are expected to recover.
Chesna was shot and killed with his own gun on July 15 while responding to a single-car crash.
About three months earlier, Yarmouth K-9 Officer Sean Gannon was shot and killed while serving a warrant on April 12.
Some police officers told WBZ-TV that every time they put their uniforms on, they feel like they have a target on their backs.
“Helping somebody with a flat tire, nobody ever hears about that,” said Weymouth Police Officer Ed O’Brien. “But when there’s that one bad apple — who is not a police officer, they’re a criminal — and they act upon, or they’re found to be doing something foolish, and they’re being recorded, that’s the image of police that is now out there.”
The officers say the attacks on cops underscore a growing problem in America: a lack of respect for the badge.
“In today’s day and age, due process should be held in a court of law, and you don’t get to argue a case in the street with violence against police,” Murphy said.
“It definitely impacts how you go about that call,” O’Brien said.
Policing has always been dangerous and difficult. But today, the job asks police officers to be social workers, psychologists and medical technicians.
The stress has never been greater, some say.
Former police officer Tom Famolare now helps police with symptoms of PTSD.
“It’s peer support. It’s not necessarily what I do, it’s what we help them to do for each other,” Famolare said.