It is time for a nationwide Amber Alert for law enforcement officers and I am calling on New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to lead the way.
Today I learned a New York State Trooper was shot to death and two others were wounded in the Catskills. It appears the man who shot the troopers, Travis D. Trim, 23, of North Lawrence, New York, was killed in a shoot-out with the State Police. Last summer Ralph “Bucky” Philips shot three New York State Troopers, killing one. He was caught after a five-month manhunt and is serving two life sentences. One wonders if Philips would have been caught sooner had an Amber-Alert type system been in place.
Is this personal for me? You bet it is. My life was saved by the New York City Police Department’s 84th Precinct in 1984 when I was held up and shot in the head at point blank range. All alone and bleeding to death from a head wound with the bullet lodged in my brain, I was able to get back to my feet, but my life would have soon ended if several units from the 84th Precinct hadn’t arrived lightening fast and taken me to the hospital.
I would propose calling the alert the Gregory alert, in honor of Brother Gregory Myles, a counselor at the New York State Police Academy, who selflessly tends to the hearts, minds and souls of those in the trooper family who are impacted by violence.
The Amber Alert website says the alert has saved the lives of hundreds of children. There is no doubt the Gregory Alert would have a similar effect. When these alerts are triggered, law enforcement notifies broadcasters, state and city transportation officials, radio and television programming is interrupted, alerts appear on highway signs, in e-mails, on wireless devices and on the internet.
When someone hurts or takes the life of a man or woman that has pledged to protect our lives with their own, an alert like this is the least we can do.