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Police Week 5k

For several years now, we have made it a tradition to support the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) by participating in the Police Week 5k.  The number of family members who participate varies from year to year but I must say that the best year for me was the one that all four of us ran.  Since Youngest is majoring in Police Studies (like his Mama--aaahh), I don't see this tradition coming to an end any time soon.
Each year, the race finishes adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Memorial.  This is a sobering yet fitting reminder of the reason for Police Week. Last year,  I discussed the memorial a bit.  This year I wanted to focus more on the reasons for the memorial and what it represents.
One of the most emotional aspects of participating in the 5k is that each runner is assigned a fallen officer for whom they run.  This year, the Hubster will be running for Deputy Sheriff Robert Leo Britton, Jr. of Smith County Sheriff's Office in Texas. Here is his story direct from the ODMP:

"Deputy Sheriff Robert Britton succumbed to injuries sustained four days earlier when he was attacked by an injured cow while directing traffic around the animal.

He had responded to the scene after a vehicle struck and injured the cow on Farm Road 344. As he directed traffic around the animal it charged him and knocked him into the air. He landed on his head and suffered severe head injuries. The cow continued attacking him until other deputies were able to pull him to safety.

Deputy Britton was transported to East Texas Medical Center where he remained until succumbing to his injuries.

Deputy Britton had served with the Smith County Sheriff's Office for 19 years. He is survived by his two children."
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To be perfectly honest, I didn't pay attention to when Deputy Britton ended his watch.  After reading the story, I assumed that his story was an older one.  After all, I work in a more urban setting and we forget the challenges that more rural departments face.  His story certainly doesn't have the "glamour" of a high speed chase or a shootout with bad guys, but it does speak of the dedication and service that so many law enforcement exhibit on a daily basis. It also serves as a sobering reminder that law enforcement must be always vigilant--never knowing where danger may lurk. Deputy Britton's story was not pulled from the annals of the past,  his watch ended on Monday, March 28, 2011.
Deputy Britton and 165 of his fellow officers names were added to the memorial this year. Their life and service will be celebrated this week.
These statistics from the ODMP for 2011
Aircraft accident: 1
Animal related: 1
Assault: 5
Automobile accident: 34
Drowned: 4
Duty related illness: 7
Explosion: 1
Gunfire: 67
Gunfire (Accidental): 5
Heart attack: 11
Heat exhaustion: 1
Motorcycle accident: 5
Stabbed: 2
Struck by vehicle: 4
Training accident: 1
Vehicle pursuit: 4
Vehicular assault: 12
Weather/Natural disaster: 1

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