Agent Ángel Lorenzo-González, 47

Puerto Rico Police Department

September 21, 2017 – Agent Ángel Lorenzo-González drowned when his patrol car was swept away in flood waters during Hurricane Maria.


Agent Héctor Matías-Torres, 53

Puerto Rico Police Department

September 21, 2017 – Agent Héctor Matías-Torres drowned when his patrol car was swept away in flood waters during Hurricane Maria.

Officer Elias Martinez, 56

Texas Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department

September 17, 2017 – Officer Elias “Sonny” Martinez succumbed to injuries received in a motorcycle crash one week earlier. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Trooper Timothy O’Neill, 28

Michigan State Police

September 20, 2017 – Trooper Timothy O’Neill was killed in a motorcycle crash while on patrol. He is survived by his parents, sister, brother, and fiancee.

Agent Roberto Medina-Mariani, 35

Puerto Rico Police Department

September 11, 2017 – Agent Roberto Medina-Mariani was shot and killed while attempting to stop an armed robbery in progress. Despite his wounds, Agent Medina-Mariani managed to return fire, wounding one of the robbers.

Agent Medina-Mariani is survived by his wife and two children.

Sergeant Joseph Ossman, 53

Florida Department of Corrections

September 10, 2017 – Sergeant Joseph Ossman was killed in an auto crash when his vehicle was struck head-on by a patrol car driven by Deputy Sheriff Julie Bridges of the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office. Both were working in mandatory evacuation areas during Hurricane Irma, having been required to remain during the storm. Deputy Bridges was also killed in the crash.

Deputy Sheriff Julie Bridges, 42

Hardee County Florida Sheriff’s Office

September 10, 2017 – Deputy Sheriff Julie Bridges was killed in an auto crash when her patrol vehicle struck head-on, a car driven by Sergeant Joseph Ossman of the Florida Department of Corrections. Deputy Bridges was in the process of picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when the crash occurred. She is survived by her eight-year-old son.

Officer William Mathews, 47

Wayzata Minnesota Police Department

September 8, 2017 – Officer William Mathews was struck and killed by a vehicle as he was removing debris from a highway. The driver of the vehicle was found to be under the influence of narcotics, and she was driving on a revoked license.

Officer Mathews is survived by his wife and seven-year-old son.

Deputy Constable Mark Diebold, 48

Tarrant County Texas Constable’s Office, Precinct 5

September 7, 2017 – Deputy Constable Mark Diebold suffered  fatal heart attack following tactical team qualifications.

Deputy Diebold, as some of you may recall, once stopped a speeding vehicle and discovered the driver was rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital. Instead of writing a traffic summons he activated his lights and siren and began to escort the couple. On the way, however, the husband pulled to the side of road because the baby decided to enter the world then and not wait to arrive at the hospital. So, Deputy Diebold and the husband together helped deliver a baby girl.

A year or so later, Deputy Diebold joined the young girl, the baby he helped deliver, at a tea party during her first birthday celebration.

Twitter Photo – Tami Carr, Executive Producer at CBS11 in Dallas.











Deputy Diebold is survived by his wife and three daughters.

Officer Bernie Domagala, 66

Chicago Police Department

September 5, 2017 – Officer Bernie Domagala succumbed to complications from a gunshot wound to the forehead he received during a standoff with a man, a former police officer, who’d been evicted from his home. The incident occurred in 1988. The shooter was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and was committed to a state mental hospital.

It was after years of confinement to a rehab facility and several surgeries that Officer Domagala lost his battle with the injuries. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Corporal Thomas Hannon, 42

Dover Delaware Police Department

September 1, 2017 – Corporal Thomas Hannon died from complications after surgery for an injury he received during a foot pursuit of a suspect. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Deputy Sheriff Robert French, 51

Sacramento County California Sheriff’s Department

August 30, 2017 – Deputy Robert French was shot and killed as he and other officers attempted to serve a search warrant for a Ramada Inn hotel room. The warrant service was part of an investigation into a stolen auto operation. When two California Highway Patrol officers knocked on the door a suspect inside opened fire with a rifle, wounding the two CHP officers. He then began firing from the balcony, killing Deputy French.

The suspect jumped from the balcony and managed to escape in a vehicle but crashed during a pursuit by officers. Once again, he began firing at officers but was wounded in the exchange of gunfire and was taken into custody.

Deputy French is survived by his children and grandchildren.

Sergeant Steve Perez, 60

Houston Texas Police Department

August 27, 2017 – Sergeant Steve Perez drowned during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey after his patrol car was swept away by flood waters. His body was recovered by local citizens and the HPD dive team. Sergeant Perez is survived by his wife, two adult children, and father-in-law.

EOW 8/6/2017

Officer Gary Lee Michael, Jr., 37

Clinton Missouri Police Department

August 6, 2017 – Officer Gary Lee Michael, Jr. was shot and killed during a traffic stop for an expired registration. As he approached the vehicle, the driver stepped out of his car and began firing with a rifle.

EOW 8/8/2017

Corporal Monty Platt, 47

West Texas A&M University Police Department

August 8, 2017 – Corporal Monty Platt died as a result of complications resulting from the bit of an injured feral cat he’d attempted to capture. He is survived by his wife, son, and mother.

EOW 8/12/2017

Trooper Pilot Burke M.M. Bates, 40

Virginia State Police

August 12, 2017 – Trooper Pilot Berke Bates and Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen were killed when their helicopter crashed while monitoring a protest. Trooper Bates is survived by his wife, twin daughter and son. He died one day before his 41st birthday.

EOW 8/12/2017

Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48

Virginia State Police

August 12, 2017 – Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen Trooper Pilot Berke Bates were killed when their helicopter crashed while monitoring a protest. He is survived by his wife and two sons.


EOW 8/13/2017

Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Clark, 50

Quitman County Mississippi Sheriff’s Office

August 13, 2017 – Deputy Jimmy Clark was killed in an auto crash while responding to a shooting call. He is survived by his wife and children.



Correctional Officer David Torres-Chaparro

Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

August 17. 2017 – Correctional Officer David Torres-Chaparro suffered a fatal heart attack while participating in riot control training.

EOW 8/6/2017

Detective Elise Ybarra, 33

Abilene Texas Police Department

August 6, 2017 – Detective Elise Ybarra was killed in an auto crash when a vehicle struck her unmarked vehicle from the rear. She is survived by her husband and 10-month-old daughter.

EOW 8/5/2017

Deputy Sheriff Jason Fann, 28

Yoakum County Texas Sheriff’s Office

August 5, 2017 – Deputy Sheriff Jason Fann was killed in a vehicle crash while responding to a traffic accident.

Lt. Aaron Allan
EOW – 7/27/17

Lieutenant Aaron Allan, 38

Southport Indiana Police Department

July 27, 2017 – Lieutenant Aaron Allan responded to a rollover crash and as is typical of these calls, officers run toward the scene hoping to help or save victims. As Lt. Allan approached this one, though, one of the occupants of the vehicle opened fire striking him multiple times. A nearby witness says at least twenty rounds were fired.

Sadly, Lt. Allan succumbed to his wounds.

He leaves behind his wife and young son.

Lt. Allan walking his son to his first day in school … yesterday. He did not live to see his son return home. ~ Photo posted to Facebook by Lt. Allan’s sister.

Lt. D. Heath Meyer
EOW 7/24/17

Lieutenant. D. Heath Meyer, 38

Oklahoma Highway Patrol

July 24, 2017 – Lieutenant D. Heath Meyer was struck and killed by a patrol car involved in a pursuit. He’d deployed stop sticks and as two patrol cars attempted to avoid the spike strips they collided. One of the two police vehicles then struck Lt. Meyer.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Trooper Joel R. Davis
EOW – 7/9/2017

Trooper Joel R. Davis, 36

New York State Police

July 9, 2017 – Trooper Joel Davis was shot and killed after responding to a domestic violence and shot-fired call. He was shot as he walked toward the house. The shooter, an active-duty Army soldier, had also killed his wife and wounded another woman who lived there.

Trooper Davis is survived by his wife and three children.

Trooper Michael Paul Stewart, III
EOW – 7/14/17

Trooper Michael Paul Stewart, III, 26

Pennsylvania State Police

July 14, 2017 – Trooper Michael Paul Stewart was killed in a vehicle crash when a garbage truck turned in front of his patrol car.

You. Will. Survive. Three of the most important words I heard during my entire time attending the basic police academy.

Several years later it was I who was drilling the phrase into the minds of hundreds of recruits. After all, thoughts of my survival speech, and many others like it in academies across the country, could be the catalyst that gives the much-needed shove after an officer is badly wounded and is teetering between giving up and pushing on to live another day. Indeed, three very important words to remember.

You. Will. Survive.

Sure, rookies know it all, or think they do. They’re fresh out of a lengthy and grueling training period that prepares them for whatever could come their way. Well, almost everything. The world still toss out surprises.

But there they are, shiny faces and short hair. Ill-fitting uniforms and new scratch-free equipment on their brand new duty belts that still smell of freshly-dyed leather and oil. New information fills their brains (“Do this. Don’t do that. Watch this and look for that.”).

The’ve just completed Hell Week (defensive tactics where pain rules the day) so arrest techniques are fresh in their minds. Their shooting and driving skills are sharp. They are nothing short of walking, talking, hyper-vigilant cop machines who can run fives miles while drinking protein shakes, cleaning their sidearms, and reciting Black’s Law Dictionary in reverse order, from ZZZZ BEST to A FORTIORI.

The point is, rookies are probably far more alert than the officer who’s been on the job for several years.

Why is it that more experienced officers have a strong tendency to become—here it comes, the dreaded “C” word—complacent?

Well, like other professions, doing the same thing over and over and over again becomes a bit tiresome, especially when that same-old, same-old involves the same two people time and time again (“He hit me.” “No, he hit ME!”). Unfortunately, it’s often the 300th time you respond to Junior, Jr.’s trailer out on Route 5 that he decides to shoot a cop. It could be the meth or the Jack talking, but dead is dead. There “ain’t” no coming back from that mistake.

Complacency kills cops!

So remain alert, even after you’ve been on the job for 30 years. Charm and your good looks will only get you so far. Not everyone thinks it’s adorable that your spare tire loops over your gun belt in several places.

Watch the Hands!

Always watch the hands!

Sure, the eyes are sometimes telling and they telegraph intentions, but it’s the hands that kill, not the eyes. Watch the hands. If you cannot see them then it is imperative that officers consider the person to be armed.


A suspect’s actions and even clothing are often strong indicators of their intentions. I know, the “action” part is self-explanatory, but how could a person’s dress be an indication of future intent to commit a crime, or to assault an officer? Picture a man wearing a long coat in the middle of August, in Atlanta. That’s an indicator that the man, or woman, could be armed and are using the coat to hide the weapon. Or, suppose a person refuses to show his hands? He may not be armed but there’s no way an officer could know until the hands are seen.

Officer line of duty deaths in 2017 are currently up 8% over this time last year. Deaths by gunfire are up 4%. Of those gunfire deaths, if the past is any indication, there’s a strong possibility that at least some, if not most of the officers didn’t have their weapons unholstered at the time they were shot. Those who didn’t have their weapons drawn were most likely approaching a house, a suspect, or a vehicle to make initial contact. Remember complacency? Happens to the best of us.

Never relax too soon!

When is the time to relax and let down your guard? Easy answer. When the call is complete and you’re safely away from the scene.


There’s an old saying that goes something like this (I apologize if the wording is off), “Waiting buys time. Distance buys time. Time buys survival.” I’m not sure where or when I first heard the phrase, but it’s stuck with me for many years, and I imagine the words, as sparse as they are, saved my rear end a few times over the years.

So …

  • Call for backup. And then wait for them to arrive!
  • Never rush into a scene. Assess it first. Be certain it’s safe to enter.
  • Until backup arrives, if possible, it’s imperative that the officer maintain a safe distance from a suspect (I know, this is not always possible). Remember, you cannot be stabbed from a distance and chances are the bad guy couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn when firing a gun (however, he might be an expert), so keeping your distance and finding cover are vital.
  • Maintain focus. Thinking about your kids ballet recital is nice, but save those tutu thoughts for after the shootout. FOCUS!
  • Keep your back to the wall! By this I mean to never allow anyone to move out of your sight, especially behind you.
  • When conducting traffic stops at night, if alone, circle behind the patrol car and approach the suspect vehicle on the passenger’s side. Doing so gives the advantage of surprise because the driver is typically watching to see the officer in his side mirror and then at his window. This slight advantage allows the officer time to see what, if anything, the driver is holding, hiding, reaching for, etc. Passing behind her patrol car prevents the officer from becoming illuminated by headlights, making her an easy target should someone in the car have bad intentions.
  • Political correctness. I’m sorry but a citizen’s inconvenience is not as important as the lives of people, including that of the officer. Sure, it’s irritating to be the subject of a traffic stop and to have the officer ask that you keep your hands where he can see them, but it’s more important to the officer that they live another day. He/she doesn’t know you or your intentions. And you don’t know that the officer received a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) for a car description matching yours, telling him it was involved in an armed robbery of the Piggly Wiggly in your neighborhood, the reason he stopped you.

Think about that for a moment. The officer stopped a car, believing the driver was armed and wasn’t afraid to use his gun. He stopped that driver fully aware that he was placing himself in danger to protect the lives of others, yet the driver complains because the officer asked to see his hands.

Keep in mind that it was political correctness that contributed to the shooting deaths of five Dallas officers and the wounding of nine others. The shootings occurred during a protest where officers were ordered to not wear protective gear because some people thought it appeared too scary and militaristic. So those lives were taken and the others affected for the rest of their time on this earth because leaders didn’t want to offend someone. The lives of the officers obviously meant nothing to politicians. So no, officers are not keen on political correctness when it compromises their well-being and the safety of citizens, and the very people handing down these stupid orders.

Spare tire

To sum up, officers should remain alert, take nothing for granted, assume nothing, trust no strangers (and some friends), watch everyones’ hands, stand with their backs to a wall, any wall, all while calling for backup, unholstering their weapons when necessary, clearing their minds of everything other than the scene before them, running toward gunfire to save the lives of others, and remembering that …

You. Will. Survive!

*To learn more about officer survival click the highlighted link above (You. Will. Survive.).


Trooper Ryan Albin, 37

Illinois State Police

June 28, 2017 – Trooper Ryan Albin was killed in a vehicle collision while on patrol. His canine, who was also inside the patrol car, was transported to a local vet where the dog was treated for minor injuries.